Title: The Secret of Nightingale Wood
Author: Lucy Strange
Page Count: 304 pages
Genre: Middle Grade
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Chicken House Books
Release Date: October 6, 2016
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
Henry has moved to the countryside with her parents and her baby sister, Piglet – all still scarred by the death of her brother.
Alone in her head, she begins to explore her surroundings, encouraged by her only friends – characters from her favourite books.
Nobody much notices when she wanders into the woods at the bottom of the garden and meets Moth, a striking witch-like woman.
Together they form a bond that could help Henry save her family.
I have one word for this book. One word. Tender. This was such a precious story. I wouldn’t have guessed this was a debut author with the way she writes. It’s as though she’s been publishing books for years.
Holding this book I knew it would have a potent message. The way the author describes the ties between family members, the way she describes grief and mental health was completely well done. The way mental health was perceived in the early 19th century is very interesting and heartbreaking. I liked how well it was interwoven in this book and really digs deep into the characters view of the situation.
Strange also captured the essence that classics hold and it really shone in Nightingale Wood with a mix of fairytale elements. I would recommend this to middle graders and it would be a great book to read to your child.
**Thank you Scholastic Canada for sending me a finished copy of the book, it was beautiful!**