Wildwood (novel)

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Wildwood:
The Wildwood Chronicles, Book 1
Wildwood by Colin Meloy cover.jpg
Author Colin Meloy
Illustrator Carson Ellis
Cover artist Carson Ellis
Country US
Language English
Series The Wildwood Chronicles
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Publication date
August 30, 2011
Media type Print (hardback, acid-free paper)
Pages 541 (hardback 1st edition)
ISBN 978-0-06-202468-8
OCLC 703205798
Followed by Under Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book Two

Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book 1 is a 2011 children's fantasy novel by The Decemberists' singer-songwriter Colin Meloy, illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis. The 541 page novel, inspired by classic fantasy novels and folk tales, is the story of two seventh-graders who are drawn into a hidden, magical forest, while trying to rescue a baby kidnapped by crows. They get caught up in an epic struggle, and learn of their connection to a magical parallel world while confronting adult authorities who are often cowardly or dishonest. The natural beauty and local color of Portland, Oregon figure prominently in the book.

Ellis collaborated closely with Meloy throughout the writing phase to produce 85 illustrations, which, along with the old-fashioned book design, were particularly praised by reviewers. The majority of reviews were positive, on balance, saying the book was an engrossing story appropriate for its target age, but they also noted that the plot sometimes dragged, that familiar fantasy motifs were sometimes overused, and that stereotypical Portland culture was a little overplayed. Wildwood was on the New York Times Best Seller list of Children's Chapter Books for two weeks and tied for the 2012 E.B. White Read Aloud Award.

Plot[edit]

In Wildwood '​s backstory, Alexandra is exiled from South Wood for using "black magic" in an effort to bring back her deceased child Alexie. In revenge, she plots to kill every living thing in The Wood. She strikes a deal with Prue's parents, who are desperate to have a child. Alexandra promises to use magic to help them conceive, but in return they must give her their second child. After Prue is born Alexandra spends the next ten years raising an army of coyotes. She then causes Prue's parents to conceive a second child, Mac. Her plan is to make a blood sacrifice of Mac to Wildwood's Ivy, a dangerous, supernaturally invasive plant. This will give her control over the Ivy, allowing her to choke all life in The Wood. When Mac is one year old, Alexandra sends crows to kidnap him.

Part One[edit]

Prue is in a park with Mac when crows come in and take the baby off. Prue runs after Mac, followed by her classmate Curtis. Prue does not want Curtis along, but before she can send him back, they are separated while fleeing from coyotes. Curtis is captured and taken to Alexandra, while Prue rides a mail truck to South Wood. There, Prue finds a Kafkaesque bureaucracy and dysfunctional government. Police state tactics and paranoia over foreign threats are used to keep the regime in power. Prue eventually meets the Crown Prince Owl Rex, of the Avian Principality, who shows how Alexandra came to be exiled, and proposes to Prue to cross Wildwood and find help from the Mystics of North Wood. Meanwhile, Alexandra is flattering Curtis with a fancy uniform and commissions him into the coyote army as an officer. In a battle against bandits Curtis breaks a howitzer by dumb luck, becoming a coyote war hero in the operation. He then finds Mac in Alexandra's headquarters and she shows him her plan to forfeit the baby. Alexandra offers to share the power with Curtis, but he says no and is locked away with some other captured bandits and unfaithful coyotes.

Part Two[edit]

Prue flies to North Wood on the back of an eagle sent by Owl Rex, but is shot down by a coyote archer. She is found by Brendan, the Bandit King, who offers to help. However, they are captured in a coyote attack and Brendan is imprisoned with Curtis while Prue is taken to Alexandra. Alexandra promises her that she will find Mac, convincing Prue to leave The Wood. In prison, Curtis reveals Alexandra's plan and then leads an escape, gaining the trust of the coyote and bandit prisoners. Prue returns home, and learns of her parents' bargain with Alexandra. Realizing that she was tricked, she decides to return to rescue Mac.

Part Three[edit]

Back in the impassable Wilderness, Prue travels to see the Mystics in charge of North Wood. Meanwhile, Curtis and the other escapees rejoin the bandits and set out to stop Alexandra. Prue alerts the North Wood Elder Mystic, Iphigenia, to the danger and the citizen militia gather farming implements and kitchen utensils for weapons and march south. Prue rides her bicycle ahead and convinces the bandits to join forces. Just as the sacrifice is about to occur the armies meet in an Ivy filled ruin. Brendan gives a speech to inspire his forces, christening the combined army the Wildwood Irregulars.

A raging battle ensues, and the Wildwood Irregulars are near defeat. As Alexandra prepares to carry out the sacrifice, Iphigenia confronts her. Curtis and the remnants of the army make a final push, expecting to be cut down, when above them the sky is filled with an army of eagles from the Avians. The battle turns against the coyote army, but Prue discovers that she can control plants the way the Mystics can and uses her new skill to make the tree boughs snatch Mac from Alexandra. Brendan shoots Alexandra with an arrow and the Ivy consumes her. The victorious Wildwood Irregulars regroup and press on to the gates of South Wood and demand that the corrupt government resign. As a new, peaceful order begins among the factions of The Wood Prue and Curtis part ways as new friends, she goes home and he remains behind to start a new life as a bandit.

Characters[edit]

In Wildwood, everyone is either of The Wood, or is an Outsider, or, in the special case of the protagonists, a "half breed", that is, an Outsider who is able to enter The Wood. A sort of "aura or shine" makes it possible to visually identify which of these things a person is. The first human Prue meets in The Wood is an old man driving a mail truck, Richard, the South Wood Postmaster General. She sees in him something she "couldn't put her finger on that seemed to exude from him, something that made him seem like no one she'd ever met before. It was a kind of aura or shine, like the way a familiar landscape is transformed in the light of a full moon." The natives of The Wood are consistently able to recognize Prue and Curtis as Outsiders, who ought not to be able to enter through the Periphery Bind surrounding The Wood, while only the people of the pastoral and meditative North Wood can see with an unexplained sense that Prue and Curtis have a dual nature, born outside The Wood yet unhindered by the magical barrier that keeps the Outsiders out.[1]

Prue[edit]

"Mother," Prue had said, now pouring rice milk over her cereal, "I told you. I’m a vegetarian. Ergo: no bacon. She had read that word, ergo, in a novel she’d been reading. That was the first time she had used it. She wasn’t sure if she’d used it right, but it felt good.

Wildwood, Chapter 1, A Murder of Crows[1]:2[2]

Prue McKeel, age 12, is a precocious seventh grader with a talent for nature drawing, an encyclopedic knowledge of birds from a book, and takes Honors English with her classmate Curtis. Like her parents, and Curtis, Prue is "very-Portland", with stereotypical interests like yoga, vegetarianism, and single-speed bicycles, which she repairs and tunes herself.[1]:42, 337[3][4] Prue is decisive, determined, and courageous,[5] finding inspiration in Nancy Drew in her effort to rescue her brother, and along the way, save Curtis and The Wood itself. Unlike Curtis, she is not cowed by anyone, standing up to Lars Svik the Governor-Regent of South Wood,[1]:123–130 Crown Prince Owl Rex of the Avian Principality, and even the fearsome Alexandra, the Dowager Governess, as well as her parents. Because Prue's birth came about by Alexandra using witchcraft to overcome Prue's parents' difficulty conceiving a child, she shares some essence of The Wood, along with being an Outsider, which is what made it possible for her to cross the magical barrier that protects The Wood.[1]:331–340 Meloy said that Prue is a composite character, "partly Carson as a kid," with her "inner world" coming from Ellis's childhood.[6][7] She is also based on the niece of a friend, a girl with, "an amazing independent streak that we’ve always admired."[7]

Curtis[edit]

"Yeah," said Curtis. "Listen, Maksim. I can totally see how that works for you and I appreciate your commitment, but, you see, I don't know if I'm quite there yet, you know, officer material. I've only been here for a day and I'm still kind of figuring everything out."

A voice, a woman's voice, sounded from above them. "And that's why we're here, dear Curtis."

Curtis looked up and saw Alexandra, the Dowager Governess, astride a jet-black horse, emerge from over a hillock between two massive cedars. She extended a willowy hand. "Come," she said to him, "I'll show you the world."

Wildwood, Chapter 8, To Catch an Attaché[1]:119–120

Curtis Mehlberg is an 11 year old, and a seventh grade classmate of Prue's, though not her close friend at the beginning of Wildwood. In the past Prue and Curtis shared an interest in drawing superhero fan art, but Prue has moved on to botanical illustration, leaving Curtis and his love of comic books behind. He is an awkward "persecuted loner" who lacks Prue's confidence,[5] and is, at first, easily intimidated and manipulated by Prue, Alexandra, and others. He grows in the course of the book, gaining a more definite sense of who he is after being forced to choose sides and stand up to the Dowager Governess Alexandra. His relationship with Alexandra recalls the seduction of Edmund Pevensie by the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[8] After being hustled into an ill-fitting role as an officer in the coyote army, he inadvertently distinguishes himself in battle. Later, by free choice, he becomes a full member of the bandits, and decides to stay behind with them in Wildwood, even as Prue returns home to St. Johns. Like Prue, Curtis is a "half-breed" who has a dual nature that allows him to enter The Wood, but the exact nature of this connection not revealed in Wildwood, other than Curtis speculating that he has a strange reclusive aunt, and a number of odd relatives.[1]

Curtis's choice to stay in Wildwood leaves behind a grieving family in Portland. Meloy said that reading fantasy stories growing up, about, "kids going to other worlds or crossing over to another place, it would invariably involve them coming back at the end," and, "Whenever that character made a choice to come back, it didn't feel true to me for some reason." Meloy wanted to experiment with a character who did what Meloy wanted to do, even though he had a happy childhood and loving family.[9] Meloy was able to connect with Curtis: "I think of Curtis as being a version of myself." As a child, Meloy "desperately longed to be taken away to another world."[6][7][9]

Alexandra[edit]

Alexandra, the exiled Dowager Governess of South Wood, is the main antagonist of Wildwood. She is charming and beautiful, and vastly more sophisticated and civilized than her anarchic coyote soldiers she only recently domesticated. In spite of her ruthlessness and murderous intentions, she is a somewhat tragic figure as a grieving mother whose madness is somewhat explained by the loss of her child. Ellis said of the illustration of Alexandra holding a knife over Mac, "as a mom of a little kid, just drawing that made my blood run cold."[9] The action of Wildwood is driven by her plot to take revenge on everyone and everything in The Wood, in which she intends to use Prue's brother Mac as a blood sacrifice in a spell to control The Wood's Ivy, which will then grow out of control and consume every living thing in The Wood. The invasive threat of the magical ivy apocalypse that Alexandra plotted in the book is similar to the threat of an "ivy desert" monoculture from invasive English ivy (Hedera helix) in the real Forest Park.[10]

Setting[edit]

The St. Johns Bridge. In the universe of Wildwood, this is the Ghost Bridge, existing only when a rune magic spell is cast and not apparent in everyday life. Without the St. Johns Bridge, the impassable Wilderness is all the more isolated.

The premise of Wildwood is that Forest Park in Portland is, "its own secret country, populated by a diverse and strange people".[11] The real Forest Park is about 8 miles (13 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, containing 5,100 acres (2,100 ha) of natural woods, mostly second growth forest with some old growth, all within the city limits.[12] This place fired Meloy's imagination, and the fantasy version of Forest Park is Wildwood's "most distinctive element".[8] Outsiders, the people of Portland, call it the impassable Wilderness, and they know it only as a forbidden, taboo area, never visited and rarely spoken of. Children are taught to stay away and even learn, eventually, to stop asking why it is forbidden. Unknown to the Outsiders, it is filled with magical talking animals and people, some living in the pastoral, almost medieval conditions of North Wood, while the country of South Wood is industrialized with technology typical of the 19th and early 20th Century. North Wood and South Wood are separated by Wildwood, an untamed no man's land filled with bandits and ostensibly wild coyotes. Travelers, and the Postmaster's truck, make the risky journey from the northern and southern countries by the Long Road through Wildwood. Tucked between Wildwood and South Wood is the Avian Principality, a nation of birds.

Nearly every location in the imaginary setting is carried over from Portland's actual geography.[9] The story begins in the protagonists' neighborhood, St. Johns, before moving across the Willamette River and into the impassable Wilderness, that is, The Wood. Pittock Mansion, located just south of Forest Park, appears under its real name, but serves as the seat of government of South Wood, while the Oregon Zoo is represented as the South Wood Prison. The Audubon Society of Portland is in the approximate location of the Avian Principality.[9] Ellis said there are a number of large trees in Forest Park, but no specific tree served as the model for the North Wood Council Tree.[9]

The St. Johns Bridge, is missing and unknown to the people of Wildwood's Portland. The only access Prue and Curtis have to pursue the crows into the impassable Wilderness is a risky dash over the train tracks of the Railroad Bridge, which is based on the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge 5.1.[1]:33–40, 331–340, 346–349, plate 4[9] The St. Johns Bridge does appear briefly, as the Ghost Bridge, conjured by a rune magic spell. In a question and answer session with Meloy and Ellis, a young reader suggested the Ghost Bridge could be interpreted as an apparition of a bridge that once existed in the past, implying that Wildwood takes place in our world's future.[9] Meloy replied that this is not the case, and that he has "another story in mind" as to the origin of the Ghost Bridge, and that Wildwood is meant to be more or less contemporary with our time.[9]

A stereotypical view of Portland's youth culture is expressed through Prue, Curtis and Prue's parents.[3][13][14] Literary critic Anna Minard describes the kids as "bespectacled, bike-riding, vinyl-­browsing, Kurosawa-­referencing children."[13] Descriptions of real elements of Portland are combined to create what critic Claire Dederer calls a "richly satisfying weave of reality and fantasy."[15]

Style[edit]

Wildwood echoes several classic fantasy and children's tales, notably J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth books, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.[5][14][16] The kidnapping of a child by crows comes from Irish folktales of the Sluagh, and from Maurice Sendak's Outside Over There where a girl rescues her brother kidnapped by goblins.[3][5] The literary tone of Decemberists songs is apparent in the writing style, with a weakness for the charms of archaic language and sesquipedalianism.[3][4][5]

Wildwood is more soft fantasy than hard fantasy, in that historical and technological consistency and plausibility are not a high priority, giving the book a whimsical, or stream of consciousness, tone.[17] The factions of The Wood use a variety of anachronistic technologies, including cutlasses, blunderbusses, and flintlocks, concurrent with howitzers and semi-automatic pistols, and vehicles like animal-drawn wagons and carts alongside bicycles, trucks and trains. No attempt was made to maintain a consistent level of technological advancement or to rationalize why a particular piece of equipment was used; rather, Meloy said, they could, "pick coolest version of whatever piece of technology" they wanted, and Ellis said they, "just picked whatever we liked."[9] When she first meets the South Wood postman Richard, he threatens her with a shotgun, which in the same paragraph is referred to as a double-barrelled rifle, then on the next page it is called a shotgun again.[1]:62–63 Though the text pointedly mentions Prue's single-speed bicycle,[1]:3 the illustrations twice show her bike having derailleur gears, which are only present on multi-speed bikes.[1]:23, 431

Illustrations[edit]

Carson Ellis's illustrations, ever present on Decemberists album covers, are consistent with the folklore roots of the band's songs, love of nature, and romanticized historical periods, having a dark and playfully macabre tone reminiscent of Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl.[3][5][18]

Carson Ellis's favorite Wildwood drawing, a badger pulling a rickshaw, was included in the story solely so she could draw it.

Ellis said that her favorite drawing among Wildwood '​s 85 illustrations is of a badger pulling a rickshaw, a relatively minor illustration compared with the full page color plates depicting pivotal scenes in the book. Meloy said that the scene it illustrated, of a friendly animal who appears at an opportune moment to offer Prue a ride after she escaped from captivity in the Pittock Mansion, was not vital to the plot, and an editor wanted to cut it from the book. But Meloy had written it specifically because he thought Ellis would enjoy drawing the badger and rickshaw, so he fought to keep it in.[9] Booklist '​s Daniel Kraus highlighted the image as representative of the book, commenting, "If you like stories in which spunky kids emerge from secret tunnels only to be greeted by smartly outfitted badgers operating rickshaws, this is your book."[19] Ellis commented, "That's one of the moments when the story seems really stream-of-consciousness. Prue pops up out of a manhole, and a badger comes by with a rickshaw and gives her a ride free of charge, and it's like, why not? It's such a great image."[1]:173[17]

Genre[edit]

Most news articles and book reviews call Wildwood a children's novel,[20] or middle grade book,[21] but some class it as young-adult fiction (YA or YAL).[4][15][22] HarperCollins recommended the book for ages 9 and up. The book's 541 page length was comparable to many of the books Meloy enjoyed at Wildwood '​s target age, and Ellis noted that, "a 10 year old kid can be a voracious reader."[23] The book is also marketed to adults, including Decemberists fans and adult fans of children's and young adult literature.[3]

Background[edit]

Meloy and Ellis first conceived the idea for the book before Meloy formed the indie folk-rock band The Decemberists in 2000. When they first moved to Portland, Meloy and Ellis were living in a warehouse where they, "had this idea of working on a novel together ... because we enjoyed making up stories and playing off one another's creative impulses."[5] Meloy was influenced by books that he read growing up, including Tolkien, and Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain. Meloy cites Piers Anthony's Xanth novels as a "direct influence", noting the "world within the real world and the implausibility of the whole enterprise".[7][9] Ellis was influenced by The Chronicles of Narnia series as a child; the illustrations in the seven books of the Narnia series were a direct inspiration on her work.[9] Unlike her previous work, where the text is completed before the illustrations are created, for Wildwood, Ellis collaborated with Meloy throughout the writing process.[3]

Carson Ellis and Colin Meloy at a book signing in Portland.

After writing the first 80 pages, Meloy put the book on hold for several years while he worked on his music and Ellis focused on her book illustrations. When work finally resumed on the novel, the title changed from How Ruthie Ended the War to Wildwood, the character of Ruthie became Prue, and the object of her quest changed from her lost father to her kidnapped brother.[5] The early version of the story was, according to Meloy, "wildly inappropriate for children."[3][9] Once they resumed work on the novel, Ellis said it took about two years to complete.[9] Meloy feared his entry into fiction writing would be seen as "dabbling"; he wanted to avoid creating a "vanity project" like Madonna's picture books.[18]

Publication[edit]

Five publishers sought the rights to the Wildwood series before being won by the HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray, with a first print run of 250,000 copies.[18]

The germ of the Wildwood idea was really always about taking Forest Park, which is this 5,000-acre park in the middle of Portland, and turning it into its own country, its own weird world that had to be accessed in some weird way [...] I really do think the main character of the book is Wildwood and its different provinces.

Colin Meloy, in The Atlantic[3]

Meloy and Ellis live on the edge of Forest Park and frequently hike its trails, where they found inspiration for geography of the series.[9][18] Meloy and Ellis developed the idea for the impassable Wilderness from their experience in Forest Park, drawing maps of the fictional forest and using it to create the plot and characters.[3][9] Illustrated endpapers in the book feature a large map of the forest with accompanying detail maps.[1]

A special edition of the book (ISBN 9780062130280) was also printed: it is hand-bound, signed and numbered, with a slipcase and a three-color 15-by-12-inch (38 cm × 30 cm) fold-out map, among other additions.[24]

Reception[edit]

Wildwood was on The New York Times Best Seller Children's Chapter Books list for two weeks, ranking 7th the first week and 9th the second.[25] The book won, in a tie with Colin Meloy's sister Maile Meloy's The Apothecary, the 2012 Middle Reader E.B. White Read Aloud Award.[26][27]

Overall, the book received positive reactions. Critics praised the quality of the illustrations, noting the old-fashioned style of the hardcover edition with maps on the end papers and a select set of color plates.[4][8][13][28] The A.V. Club '​s Tasha Robinson found the book, in spite of its flaws, "a perfect balance of middle-school-age-appropriate simplicity and more challenging writing that makes the book adult-accessible."[8] Meloy's rich descriptive language, of action, and especially the natural setting, were among the book's strengths, while a lack of character development and over-reliance on familiar fantasy tropes were cited as weaknesses.[8] Similarly, The New Yorker found that the use of familiar motifs could sometimes be "formulaic" but it was nonetheless a well told tale that was, "never condescending", and that Meloy's original contribution to conventions of the genre was his allegorical exploration of contemporary political and military struggle, including diplomacy, revolution, and ethnic cleansing.[28]

The most frequent criticism was that the pace dragged in some places,[4][29] which some critics speculated was necessary setup for subsequent novels in the series.[15][30] Some critics said they were "rankled" at the "arch" and "Portland-y" mention such local lifestyle tropes as cork flooring and recycling bins.[4] Prue's riding to the final battle on her bicycle caused The New York Times '​s Claire Dederer to quip, "bicycle heroism: it doesn't get any more Portland than that."[15] The regionalisms came on strong enough to bring to some critics' minds the Portlandia TV series that pokes fun at the oddities of Portland culture.[4][15] Salon '​s David Daley has called on pundits to, "stop comparing everything to Portlandia", saying reference to the satirical comedy show, "has become a lazy shorthand for oddball, quirky cool."[31]

The first negative review of Wildwood appeared following the release of the novel in the UK.[30] The Stirling Observer's Gregor White said that the story begins well, and agreed with other critics that the setting is an impressive work, but in sum judged that the book, "somehow ends up as one big shoulder shrug of indifference."[30] While other critics had reservations about the novel switching back and forth between the story threads of Prue and Curtis after they become separated early in the story, White said this "flitting back and forth" is an insurmountable "structural problem" that is "intensely wearing".[30]

Rachel Brown of The Atlantic thought that, "it makes perfect sense that Colin Meloy, the loquacious and imaginative lead singer of the quirky Portland-based rock band The Decemberists, would write a children's book."[3] In contrast, critic Anna Minard from Seattle's The Stranger and Patrick Ness, in The Guardian, feared that Wildwood could be one more of a stream of "baldly mediocre books written by celebrities", citing children's books by Joy Behar, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Gloria Estefan, and Madonna.[13][29] Minard and Ness also worried that the book would pander to adult Decemberists fans,[29] while only, "dressed trendily in kid-friendly wrapping," but Minard was pleasantly astonished that the book did none of these things, and was not a "vanity project", landing well in range of its middle reader target and avoiding the affected pitfalls of a pop musician as writer.[13] Ness, noting the repetition of the adjective "suddenly" in one paragraph, hoped for tighter writing in future novels, but overall found the book successful and not the work of a "dilettante wanting to dabble."[29] Coincidentally, Colin Meloy's sister, novelist Maile Meloy, also released a juvenile fiction book in 2011, saying, "I feel like everyone I know is writing one."[18]

Stephen Heyman of The New York Times warned that Wildwood might be too violent for some readers, having many of the horrors so frequently found in Decemberists songs, including battles when people and animals die by musket and cannon fire, sword blows, and falling, and references to torture, and the threat of the blood sacrifice of a baby at the book's climax.[18]

Sequels[edit]

Meloy intends to write at least two more books for the Wildwood Chronicles while his band, The Decemberists, are on hiatus.[5][18] According to Meloy, the second Wildwood novel will have Prue return to The Wood, "her life very much in danger". The plot will involve "scheming industrialists trying to worm their way into Wood" from the Outside. The book will show a much "weirder Portland", and the supernatural will not be confined to The Wood. Meloy said he would no longer constrain the denizens of The Wood to the native species of Forest Park.[9] The second book in the series, Under Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book Two, was released on September 25, 2012.[32][33][34]

Film adaptation[edit]

In 2011, Oregon-based animation studio, Laika optioned Wildwood for a stop motion animated feature film[18][35] and produced the trailer for the book.[22]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Meloy, Colin (August 30, 2011), Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book 1, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-06-202468-8 
  2. ^ Culture Staff (August 24, 2011), "Kidnapped By Crows; An excerpt from Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis’ new book, Wildwood", Willamette Week, retrieved December 5, 2011 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Brown, Rachael (September 12, 2011), "Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis on Their Latest Collaboration, 'Wildwood'", The Atlantic, retrieved December 13, 2011 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Ferguson, Courtney (August 25, 2011), "Put a Talking Bird on It; Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis Collaborate on Wildwood", The Portland Mercury, retrieved December 4, 2011 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Carpenter, Susan (September 7, 2011), "Indie rocker tunes into the book world; The Decemberists' Colin Meloy embarks on a fantasy series with 'Wildwood.'", Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California): D.1, retrieved December 3, 2011 
  6. ^ a b Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis discuss Wildwood (YouTube), Unadoptable Books LLC, retrieved December 4, 2011 
  7. ^ a b c d "Interview: Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis", BWi TitleTales 
  8. ^ a b c d e Robinson, Tasha (August 31, 2011), "Colin Meloy: Wildwood", The A.V. Club, retrieved December 13, 2011 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Miller, David (November 25, 2011), "Wildwood Book Club (radio broadcast)" (MP3 audio), Think Out Loud (Oregon Public Broadcasting), retrieved December 4, 2011 
  10. ^ "English ivy (Hedera helix)", The Sinister Six, Forest Park Conservancy, 2011, retrieved December 7, 2011 
  11. ^ Yates, Jean (2010), "Reading Notes; Wildwood Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis" (PDF), Education Centre; Wildwood (Penguin Books Australia) 
  12. ^ Forest Park, Portland Parks & Recreation, 2011, retrieved December 6, 2011 
  13. ^ a b c d e Minard, Anna (September 27, 2011), "Colin Meloy Wrote a Children's Book; And It's Good! Which Is More Than You Can Say for Gloria Estefan!", The Stranger (newspaper), retrieved December 4, 2011 
  14. ^ a b Westmoore, Jean (October 23, 2011), "Books in brief; Wildwood", The Buffalo News (Buffalo, New York), retrieved December 3, 2011 
  15. ^ a b c d e Dederer, Claire (September 18, 2011), "Into the Woods", The New York Times Book Review: 20, retrieved December 3, 2011 Published online at nytimes.com under the title Decemberist's Tale of a Fantastical Portland 
  16. ^ Gallagher, Paula J. (August 2011), "Meloy, Colin. Wildwood", Voice of Youth Advocates (General OneFile): 292 
  17. ^ a b Owens, Jill (September 5, 2011), "Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis: The Powells.com Interview", Powells.com Blog (Powell's Books), retrieved December 5, 2011 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Heyman, Stephen (October 12, 2011), "A Dark Lyricist Turns to Tales For Children", The New York Times: C1, retrieved December 3, 2011 
  19. ^ Kraus, Daniel (July 1, 2011), "Wildwood" (Gale), Booklist: 53, retrieved December 3, 2011 
  20. ^ Sources that call Wildwood a children's book:
  21. ^ Sources that call Wildwood a middle grade or middle school book:
  22. ^ a b Debruge, Peter (September 7, 2011), "Laika to adapt The Decemberists singer's 'Wildwood'; 'Coraline' animation studio sets lit adaptation", Variety, retrieved December 3, 2011 
  23. ^ The Decemberists' Colin Meloy on His New Book "Wildwood" (Video) (Television production WHAM ABC 13). Rochester, New York: Clip Syndicate. October 26, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Wildwood Signed Special Edition". Powell's Books. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  25. ^ "Children's Chapter Books", The New York Times, September 18, 2011, retrieved December 3, 2011 
  26. ^ Hawkins, Rosemary (February 27, 2012), Voting Opens for 2012 Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, American Booksellers Association, retrieved March 9, 2012 
  27. ^ Nichols, Mark (April 4, 2012), Winners of the 2012 Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards Announced, American Booksellers Association, retrieved April 5, 2012 
  28. ^ a b "Wildwood", The New Yorker (General OneFile Web) 87 (39), December 5, 2011: 85, ISSN 0028-792X 
  29. ^ a b c d Ness, Patrick (March 16, 2012), "Wildwood by Colin Meloy – review; An American Narnia", The Guardian, retrieved April 20, 2012 
  30. ^ a b c d White, Gregor (January 27, 2012), "Book Review: Wildwood, by Colin Meloy", Stirling Observer (Stirling, UK), retrieved March 9, 2012 
  31. ^ Daley, David (February 23, 2012), "Stop comparing everything to "Portlandia"; Need to describe something quirky? For the New York Times and others, it's easy – just say it's like "Portlandia"", Salon 
  32. ^ Maughan, Shannon (February 20, 2012), Fall 2012 Sneak Previews, Publishers Weekly, retrieved March 9, 2012 
  33. ^ Lincoln, Marga (February 12, 2012), "Helena to Hollywood: Colin Meloy’s group The Decemberists up for two Grammy Awards", Helena Independent Record, archived from the original on April 25, 2012, retrieved March 9, 2012 
  34. ^ Considine, J.D. (October 4, 2011), "Decemberists singer makes a novel debut", The Globe and Mail, retrieved March 9, 2012 
  35. ^ LAIKA Options "Wildwood," Debut Novel From Colin Meloy, Frontman for Rock Group The Decemberists, and Award-Winning Illustrator Carson Ellis (press release), Portland, Oregon: Marketwire, September 8, 2011, retrieved April 25, 2012 

References[edit]

Reviews by middle readers

External links[edit]