Monday, May 19, 2014

WANDERVILLE by Wendy McClure for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I've been a fan of Wendy McClure since I realized she was the genius behind @HalfPintIngalls on Twitter (example of her wit: "When you live in a sod house EVERY DAY is 'Earth Day'."). So I was excited to learn she'd written a book for middle grade readers:




Wanderville by Wendy McClure (January 2014, Penguin Razorbill, for ages 8 to 12)

Synopsis (from the publisher): Jack, Frances, and Frances’s younger brother Harold have been ripped from the world they knew in New York and sent to Kansas on an orphan train at the turn of the century. As the train chugs closer and closer to its destination, the children begin to hear terrible rumors about the lives that await them. And so they decide to change their fate the only way they know how. . . .

They jump off the train.

There, in the middle of the woods, they meet a boy who will transform their lives forever. His name is Alexander, and he tells them they’ve come to a place nobody knows about—especially not adults—and “where all children in need of freedom are accepted.” It’s a place called Wanderville, Alexander says, and now Jack, Frances, and Harold are its very first citizens.


Why I recommend it: It's a quick read and an exciting adventure story. I always loved The Boxcar Children and Little House on the Prairie, and more recently May B. by Caroline Starr Rose, so it's no wonder I enjoyed this too. Jack, Frances, and even young Harold are strong and resourceful children. This will be also a series. (Be forewarned: scary situations abound. Life was hard back then!)

(This is minor but I have to admit I was a little upset that on my copy the blurb on the back flap from Caroline Starr Rose got her name wrong. @HalfPintIngalls would probably say: "Mistakes will happen". Anyway, they seem to have fixed it since then and moved it to the front cover. Thank goodness!) 

Find Wendy at her website

Follow her on Twitter

Other reviews of the book: 
Erik at This Kid Reviews Books

Find other MMGM links at Shannon's blog.


19 comments:

  1. I've seen this book and thought it sounded wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as well as the author's links!

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    1. You're welcome, Sheri! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I perked up when you mentioned "May B." lol
    That means, I'm adding this to my list so I can check it out later. Thanks for the recommendation, Joanne! :)

    ~Akoss

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    1. Certainly, Akoss. Hope you get a chance to read it.

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  3. I haven't heard of this one, so I'm glad you introduced me to it...and an interesting author to follow on Twitter!

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    1. Oh, yes, Andrea. Her Laura Ingalls Wilder persona on Twitter is a hoot! But don't forget her other, uh, more normal, Twitter.

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  4. This is on my to-read list already, but I love your take on the story; it's very different from what I remember someone else saying (and they were the reason I added it in the first place), but that's what so great about books -- we each take away our own 'thing' from them.

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  5. You had me at the comparison to Little House on the Prairie and the Boxcar children. This sounds interesting--and the author does too. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Quick is good for me these days. Thanks for telling me about this one. It sounds fun.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Rosi. Not enough hours in the day.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this one...totally missed it and now will go in search of it!

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  8. A blurb from Caroline Rose and a positive review from you have just sold me on it. :) Thanks!

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    1. Hope you like it, Faith. Anyone who makes her own sourdough bread should love the time period, anyway.

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  9. Dido what Faith just said! lol We LOVED May B, and I was fortunate enough to get know Caroline better when she skyped with my middle school writing club. This book sounds like a perfect follow up!

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    1. Isn't MAY B. wonderful? And it's in verse, which has to be harder to write.

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  10. This is the sort of book I would've eaten up as a middle grade student.

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