Stories to tell

Once upon a time there was a girl who had a little brother.  One ordinary day they were playing at the park and a murder of crows swooped down and snatched the little boy, carrying him far away into the Impassible Woods.  The girl gave chase and found herself in a strange forest accompanied by an uninvited school mate.  The two searched and searched but they found no sign of the baby boy.   All of a sudden, they were attacked by a band of coyotes and separated.  The boy was taken to the Dowager Duchess, an evil but sweet-talking woman bent on total domination of the wood.  The girl was taken to the Governor Regent, a man also trying to control things well beyond his abilities.  Together but separately, the boy and girl work tirelessly to find the baby brother and, in the process, become embroiled in an epic battle between good, less good and down-right evil.

What a fantastic and imaginative story!  At first, Meloy seemed to be telling yet another story of girl-meets tyrant-vanquishes tyrant and lives happily ever after.  Okay, that does happen but it’s the in-between parts that are so fascinating.  The characters are consist of both humans and animals with good and not so good in both species.  Prue (the girl) and Curtis (the boy) are likeable, if a little naive at times.  Some of the situations seem to be just a bit too glossed over; like Curtis’ decision to stay in the wood and what happens to his family on the Outside.  Female fans of adventure will love Prue’s strength and determination.  Boys will like how Curtis starts the story as a bit of a nerd but evolves into a rather brave young man.  The drawings by Carson Ellis (think The Mysterious Benedict Society) add spark to the imagination!

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