Greenwild: The World Behind The Door

Pari Thomson, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Prize for 2024 this is a story with a very broad appeal. Fans of Harry Potter, the more recent Hedgewitch and the classic Secret Garden, will love this blend of adventure, school and magic all wrapped up in a luscious botanical setting.

Daisy Thistledown is separated from her Mum who has gone to the Amazon on a dangerous mission. Sent to Wykhurst boarding school, Daisy senses danger and manages to escape the clutches of the sinister Craven, ending up in Greenwild, a world far removed from her own. There Daisy discovers new friends as well as all sorts of curious plants and trees as she tries to learn the magic to keep Greenwild safe.

 With illustrations by the talented Elisa Paganelli, there is time travel, kidnap, magic spells and a cliff- hanger ending to make this first in a new fantasy series one to look out for. I loved it!

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, 2023 (389 pages)

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton