eARC Over the Woodward Wall



โ€œ๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ, ๐—ถ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ผ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜†๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ.โ€โ€”A. Deborah Baker

Wizard of Oz meets Alice in Wonderland, with a dose of Narnia. In the Up-and-Under, everything is a contradiction. Avery and Zib are two similar children who are also very different. When they both find themselves on the other side of the Woodward Wall, they must travel the Improbable Road and find the Improbable City where the Queen of Wands can help them find their way home. But things are not as they seem in the Up-and-Under. And a new adventure waits at every turn.

Charming. Enchanting. Captivating. Wholesome. Over the Woodward Wall is a middle-grade fantasy with catchy prose that will leave you smiling. Itโ€™s full of silly contradictions. Impossibilities. Curiosities. Most of all, its great fun! Itโ€™s full of queens and kings, some evil and some not. Itโ€™s full of giant owls, girls who can turn into murders of crows, and bramble bears. Thereโ€™s rainbow mud waterfalls, and trees with glass leaves. Everything thatโ€™s impossible and improbable is suddenly possible and probable.


Avery and Zeb are from the same boring town, but they are very different children. Avery is prim and proper. Zeb is wild and messy. The kind of children whose parents would keep them apart. They couldnโ€™t be more contradictory to one another. Yet, when they find themselves on the same journey, tied together, they must come to understand one another and rely on each other. Their only goal is to find their way home. But they cannot finish the journey alone. Together, they go through a transformation.


โ€œ๐—•๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ป๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ? ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ! ๐—”๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜๐—ต ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—บ? ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ! ๐—” ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ? ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ! ๐—ฆ๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป, ๐—บ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ธ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต, ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ, ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฎ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐˜† ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด?โ€

The writing was fantastic. I loved the way the Baker added direct opposites to the sentences, writing in a contradictory manor that gave the world so much feeling. Such catchy prose. Almost like reading rhymes. It flowed so well. I found myself frequently highlighting various passages.


โ€œ๐—™๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ณ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜.โ€


I adore middle grade. This was such a cute read. But it was also filled with wonderful messages for middle-graders. So very wholesome! I can definitely see kids loving this story. Even as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me feel like I was whisked away in an Alice In Wonderland-esk world following the Yellow Brick Road looking for a lamppost in Narnia. Except in this story, itโ€™s a rainbow road full of improbabilities. The story ends in an incomplete way that suggests there will definitely be subsequent books. After all, even though the children reach their destination, they discover that their adventure is not quite over yet. I will be looking forward to the next installment. MY RATING: 4.5/5โญ๏ธ

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ยฉ2020 by Author Melissa Mitchell