Thanks to Ike’s power outage in central Ohio (we got power back last night), I just finished the Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst. What a great read and I can just imagine the fun reading it aloud to intermediate aged students. It does have the same title as a very different book (and movie about the book), but that is the only similarity (although I could come up with others if pressed). The other Into the Wildis by John Krakauer and was made into a movie directed by Sean Penn. It is a “true life” adventure type book that Jon Krakauer writes so well.
The reason I mention the other book with the same title is because you will probably run into, as I have, incredulous looks by people who are familiar with the first adventure book when you mention that you are reading Into the Wild aloud to your class. Just be prepared with your explanation of the plot and the other author’s name.
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst has been in my must-read pile for awhile after reading reviews of it on other blogs such as Jen Robinson’s Book Page, The Reading Zone, and A Year of Reading. The main character is a girl by the name of Julie. She just happens to be the daughter of Zel (short for Rapunzel), her brother is Puss-in-Boots, and they are frequently visited by Cindy, the seven dwarfs (didn’t there used to be more?), Goldie, and a wicked witch. Zel and the others had managed to outwit and escape the Wild (an malevolent all-knowing presence that can take many forms, but mainly is in the form of an out-of -control forest) many hundred years ago. Zel, Julie, and grandma are the guardians of the Wishing Well and the Wild, a task that Julie underestimates its importance.
The Wild gets loose and everyone is swept back into their old roles which they have to play over and over again, at the expense of their memories of anything else they have known. There is no free will in the Wild. The Wild is a kind of evil master puppeteer that forces and tricks people into fairy tale stories.
I know as I read I really wanted to get out some of the fairy tales in their many forms and compare what I remember to the actual stories. You could really use this book as a springboard into studying fairy tales or even just introducing some not quite so familiar fairy tales to your students.
Out of the Wild is the sequel that came out in June 2008. The first chapter is included in my paperback copy of Into the Wild and it pulled me in right away. I wonder if the public library has it yet?
What’s up next in my must-read pile:
Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
The Primary Comprehension Toolkitby Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis (I like what I’ve seen so far!)
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (I want to read it, but really don’t want the series to be over! She has an interesting website, complete with playlists that inspired/reminded her of her novels-I’ve enjoyed listening to them!)
The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins (I’ve been WAITING for this to come out after several blogs reviewed it from ARCs). BTW-Stephanie Myer also loved this book)