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Durst, Sarah Beth. Into the Wild.

DURST, Sarah Beth. Into the Wild. Penguin, Razorbill, 288p. c2007. 978-1-59514-156-9. $15.99. J

Suppose that the characters that populate fairy tales manage to escape their fictional existence and live in the "real" world? This is the premise of Sarah Beth Durst's novel as Julie, the daughter of Rapunzel and her prince, rides the school bus and is harassed by the fashion queen of the middle school. The "Wild" of the title is the force that keeps the fairy tales fairy tales, and it is constantly trying to recapture Julie's mother and the other characters who escaped its influence. It also grabs boots and books and continues to exert an influence over Julie. But it also tries to reclaim Rapunzel by sucking her back into the land of the fairy tale. It is then up to Julie and her best friend Gillian to step up to the danger and try to recover those who had chosen to live their lives outside of the fairy tale. Gillian uses her trumpet to lead fairy tale animals away as Julie's bike comes to life and the Wild terrorizes Northboro, Massachusetts.

Julie's adventures take place in and though the most familiar of fairy tales. The conclusion comes with a bit of a Wizard of Oz moment when Julie realizes that what it will take to save all she knows and loves has been her heart's desire all along. The novel is a creative romp through the fairy tale genre, highlighting the strength of the female characters whose stories we all know so well. Janis Flint-Ferguson, Assoc. Prof., English, Gordon College, Wenham, MA

J--Recommended for junior high students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.
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Author:Flint-Ferguson, Janis
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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