Written By: Colin Meloy

Illustrated By: Carson Ellis

For parents of independent readers, we provide a set of questions that should give you insight into what your child is reading and help you engage him/her in meaningful conversations about literature. We recommend using the questions provided here as a springboard for deeper conversation about Wildwood and what your child takes away from the book. Enjoy!

Plot Summary

When Prue’s baby brother Mac is abducted by a murder of crows, what started out as a pleasant day in the park turned into a hunt to find Mac and figure out why he had been swept away in the first place. On her journey, Prue and her classmate, Curtis, find themselves deep in the Impassable Wilderness, a deep, mystical forest on the edge of Portland, discovering a secret world on the verge of a violent upheaval. What Prue doesn’t know is that Alexandra, the exiled Dowager Governess of South Wood, had made a deal with her parents: Alexandra would help them conceive a child in exchange for their second born, Mac. What she also doesn’t know is that Alexandra planned to take her revenge for being exiled by making a blood sacrifice of Mac to take control over a supernatural plant called the Ivy and it to choke all life in Wildwood. Prue’s search turns into much more when she not only works to find her brother, but finds herself joining forces with the citizens and bandits of Wildwood, an army called the Wildwood Irregulars, to stop Alexandra and to bring peace to their home. A battle breaks out and the Wildwood Irregulars are near defeat when a last minute push results in Mac’s rescue and the death of Alexandra. In the end, Wildwood is at peace and Prue returns home with Mac while Curtis stays behind to start a new life as a bandit in The Wood. This fantasy adventure takes these two young individuals on a mystical journey and demonstrates the courage and determination it takes to carry out a rescue mission and bring peace to a warring society.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is Alexandra seeking revenge against Wildwood?
  2. How would you describe Alexandra’s character? Can you give some examples of how she manipulates people to get what she wants?
  3. How does Curtis go from being an officer in the coyote army to being a prisoner in Alexandra’s prison? How does he gain the trust of the coyote and bandit prisoners?
  4. Prue travels all across Wildwood to find Mac and stop Alexandra from exacting her revenge. How do you think Prue was feeling throughout her journey? What do you think pushed both her and Curtis to keep going?
  5. Prue discovers that she is able to control plans around her the way the Mystics can. If you could have a magical power, what would it be and why?
  6. At the end of the story, the Wildwood Irregulars are near defeat. How is it that they are able to come back and stop Alexandra and her army?  What are the different elements that went into their victory?
  7. Why did Curtis want to stay behind instead of going home with Prue and Mac? Do you agree with his decision? Why or why not?
  8. Generally open up your child to discuss Wildwood with you. What did s/he enjoy? Learn? Wish were different? Which characters were most compelling? Why? Make space at dinner and other times of the day to engage your child in discussion about what s/he is reading, and how it connects to everyday life.

Above all, be sure to engage your child in a discussion about the plot line and his/her thoughts and feelings about the book. Ask what s/he likes, encourage exploration related to the book, and every now and again, offer to read parts of the book aloud, just for fun!