Author: Ernshaw, Shea
Rumored to be a witch, Nora Walker attempts to uncover the truth about a boy she discovers in the woods who went missing weeks ago during a brutal winter storm, only to learn that he wasn't the only one to go missing all those weeks ago.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 511907
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2019 Gr 8 Up—Ernshaw succeeds with a spellbinding tale of love, murder, and the occult for teen readers. Nora Walker, her mother, and every Walker female for generations have been labeled as witches for their mystical interactions with nature and their outcast status in the community. Nora is living alone in her rustic family home across the lake from the Jackjaw Camp for Wayward Boys when she discovers a body in the Wicker Woods. In time it is discovered that one boy is dead and one is missing. As the lies and secrets surrounding these events invade Nora's solitary world, truths are revealed about the crime itself and the deadly powers of humans and the natural world. From the first sentence, the author entices readers into the strange warmth of Nora's cabin and to the edge of the unforgiving woods. The malevolent timbers become more than a convention of setting, but a brooding, spectral character itself. The chapters are interspersed with pages of ancient histories and spells from the protagonist's witch ancestors: "The Spellbook of Moonlight & Forest Medicine," while the narrative is handed back and forth between the two main male and female characters for a varied perspective. Themes of first love, alienation, right vs. wrong, and teen angst give this novel contemporary appeal alongside its otherworldly fairy-tale allure. Some explicit language doesn't detract from the engaging and unpredictable characters and haunting plot lines. VERDICT A dynamic thriller for fans of paranormal fiction.—Jane Miller, Nashville Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2019 Nora Walker, like all the Walker women before her, is rumored to be a witch. What people don’t know is that while every other Walker woman has had magical gifts, Nora has shown no sign of magic to date. Ostracized by classmates and teased by the boys at the nearby Jackjaw Camp for Wayward Boys, Nora leads a solitary life since the recent death of her beloved grandmother Ida. One night, Nora finds Jackjaw camper Oliver Huntsman freezing in the woods after escaping from camp, and she saves his life by taking him in. They are drawn to each other, but Nora is wary because she believes Oliver may be behind the disappearance and rumored death of another camper. Chapters that alternate between Nora’s and Oliver’s points of view offer a slow reveal of the secrets both young people are guarding, and embedded sections from a journal document the different magic powers of each Walker witch. Ernshaw weaves an irresistible spell, entwining nature, romance, and magic through a lyrical text that will catch and hold fantasy readers. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.