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Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 03/2022
  • 978-1737087939
  • 214 pages
  • $27.94
Paperback Book Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9781737087915
  • 224 pages
  • $15.99
Kate Ristau
Author
Wylde Wings
Kate Ristau, author
Before she died, Gwyn's mom told him he would fly. He wants to believe, but he knows it's stupid. All those myths aren't really true. People don't have wings. Until, one day, he does. Wylde Wings is the story of how Gwyn Wylde gets his wings. The illustrated novel takes flight as we follow along on Wylde's adventure. He meets old gods, challenges mythological monsters, and with the help of his friends - dances on the line between life and death. The stories are all true. He'll get his wings, but when the spark returns, the magic flares to life, and the adventure begins.
Reviews
A young boy grows wings and embarks on a magical adventure in Ristau’s (The End of Time) newest middle grade fantasy. Before she died, Gwyn’s mother used to tell him fantastical stories, including promising him that on his 12th birthday he’d grow a pair of wings. When Gwyn at last wakes up that fated morning and discovers he’s still wingless, he feels as if he’s lost one more connection to his mother. But when a mysterious ball of light appears during his class field trip, Gwyn suddenly finds himself flying, launching him on an otherworldly adventure he isn’t sure he’s ready for.

Despite his wish to be able to fly, Gwyn is confused and frightened—and quickly becomes exhausted—when an owl mysteriously appears and guides him to a boat piloted by his Nana, who reveals that all the fanciful stories his mother ever told him are true. What follows is a frenetic adventure. Danger lurks around every corner—the father of a friend tracks him with seemingly nefarious intent, and Gwyn encounters a cursed summer camp counselor, a demon dog, and a mass of blue zombies in the woods by his Nana’s house. But during the journey, he learns secrets about himself, and his Nana too, that give him a chance to feel hope again.

Though the writing is engaging, Ristau’s plot races from point to point so quickly that the tale is slightly disjointed, with major developments not always having time to breathe. As a result, there’s very little character building, especially with the large cast of friends that accompany Gwyn on his adventures. Brian W. Parker’s illustrations—which include scenes from Gwyn’s past—help with the pacing, particularly those depicting time spent with Gwyn’s mother, producing a grounding effect and cementing his character during breaks in the action. Despite his supernatural gift, tweens will find Gwyn relatable, and the story is packed with action as mystery and magic converge.

Takeaway: Tweens with a sense of adventure will be swept away by this magical tale of a boy who discovers he has supernatural abilities.

Great for fans of: Madeleine L’Engle, Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted series.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 03/2022
  • 978-1737087939
  • 214 pages
  • $27.94
Paperback Book Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9781737087915
  • 224 pages
  • $15.99

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