Over the Woodward Wall – A. Deborah Baker

Releases: 10.6.2020.

Synopsis: If you trust her you’ll never make it home…

Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.

They live on the same street.
They live in different worlds.

On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under – an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures.

And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.

“The Crow Girl cocked her head to the side. “Why what? Why is the road like this? The road goes everywhere in the Up-and-Under, into the clouds and down to the depths, because the road is for everyone, and something for everyone needs to be everywhere, or it isn’t really for everyone at all. A garden behind a gate isn’t everybody’s garden, no matter what the gardeners may try to say. No, it isn’t for everyone at all.”

It is I, your socially distanced neighborhood Forest Witch, bringing you a review from the one & only Seanan McGuire. Over the Woodward Wall is a glorious portal fantasy about old walls & forests; Bumble Bears & Crow Girls; sarcastic owls & skeleton keys; and an impossible city.

Writing as A. Deborah Baker, Seanan McGuire has given readers a look at the book mentioned within the pages of Middlegame, one of my favorite books read of 2019. I’m a sucker for the book within a book theme & to have someone as brilliant as McGuire weaving her magic with the trope throughout this companion piece was *chef’s kiss*

Although Over the Woodward Wall is the basis of many excerpts featured throughout Middlegame, it isn’t necessary to have read it first. Just make sure you *do* read it, because sweet damn!

“Everything was ordinary, and nothing was ordinary at all.”

Over the Woodward Wall follows two kids, neither aware that the other exists, even though they live in the same ordinary town. Not only do they live in the same ordinary town, but they live on the same ordinary street. They attend separate schools in opposite directions, so the fact that their paths have not crossed previously isn’t that unheard of. Especially when you consider that everything has been decided for children in this ordinary town that is extraordinarly safe.

That is, until an old wall seemingly comes out of nowhere.

But that can’t be, can it?

Allow Zib & Avery to guide you through this delightfully peculiar rendition of a fairy tale. Seanan McGuire has created a meta fantasy that stylistically resembles a collision between The Wizard of Oz & A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s enchanting, atmospheric & brimming with magic!

Whatever name she chooses to write under, the reader is in for a treat!

-Holly

(Always thankful for Tor.com Publishing & their knowledge of my love for Seanan McGuire! Thank you for the copy!)

**The quotes above were taken from an ARC & are subject to change upon publication**

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