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Author: Salter, Charlotte
Publisher: Dial Books
Year Published: Aug 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7352-2923-5
Grades: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Where the Woods End

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The woods are out to get you. If you’re not killed by the wolves baying at the village limits, then a face-painter might lure you out to take your bones. If not that, the bonebirds are waiting at the Marrow Orchard to tear flesh from limb, and the Briny Witch lurks in the shallows, waiting to bargain for your eyes. And if you survive all that, you still have to deal with your grabber; the monster that stalks you, stealing your treasured items and using them to build a body that reflects your worst fear…
Kestrel lives in these Woods, and her life has been far from any normal or happy childhood. The village hates her, her mother is the village witch, her dad hunts wolves far away, and there is the secret Kestrel holds in guilt and shame – she was the one responsible for her grandmother death at the hands of a grabber. In this extremely fractured version of Little Red Riding Hood, Charlotte Salter doesn’t shy away from messy details, harsh realities of human behavior or gut-dropping mistakes, but for a generation of children growing up with the Walking Dead and the Hunger Games, she provides a quirky story that will appeal to young readers’ fascination with gore and tribulations. Readers will especially love the antics of Pippit, Kestrel’s faithful, bloodthirsty weasel companion and will want to be like her only friend Finn, who lives in the trees and tries not to let a foot touch the ground. Walter also drives home an important message in the most poignant of ways – no matter how others treat you, what life throws at you, or how unfair your circumstances are, it is how you react that defines who you are.
For your horror and apocalyptic fans, Salter weaves a gruesome but compelling coming-of-age tale unlike any other. A must for any teacher looking for a fantasy book that stands out from the norm. Good for Grades 3 to 9, but not for readers that are easily frightened.

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