Wildsmith: Into the Dark Forest

Liz Flanagan, illustrated by Joe Todd Stanton

Shortlisted for The Week Junior Book Awards

When war threatens the city in which she lives, Rowan and her Mum go to live with her Grandfather in the Dark Forest. Her first surprise is finding that her Grandfather’s pet is a beautiful white wolf called Arto. More surprises as she discovers Grandpa is also a Wildmith – a healer with magical powers. Struggling at first to settle into this new environment, she finds herself rescuing a baby dragon from poachers, bent on destroying the magical animals in order to capture their magic. She then discovers that she too has links to this magical world and when danger threatens it is up to her and her new friends to help – but will she be strong enough to do so?

A really enjoyable, well written middle grade fantasy adventure novel for 7 – 11 years , that is fast paced, has a clutch of wonderful animal and human characters and an underpinning environmental message. The dragons are wonderful and any child readers will most definitely want one as a pet. Short, sharp chapters make the book great for keeping children’s attention. It’s a book that is good for reading alone but would work very well to read aloud to a class of children. This is the first book in a new series and although complete in itself, there are threads that will I’m sure be continued in later books. Highly recommended.

Published by UCLAN Publishing

Great for a class read aloud book

Student reviews

“I really liked Wildsmith and I thought it was a great book. It is jam packed full of adventure. It was funny, cute and magical. It was paced nicely and overall is just a great book (4 out of 5 stars).”

Year 8 pupil, Tanbridge House School, Horsham

“This book is definitely one of my favourites that I have read! I can’t wait to read the second book! This book is definitely for you if you like magical mythical creatures and a twist and turn at the end. It is about a young girl who finds out that they have to move city without her best friend ‘Bella’. In my opinion, I Love the book for the whole mythical creatures that live in the book. If you ever have the chance to read it, read it! You will NOT regret this decision. (5 out of 5 stars)”

Tom, Year 8, Tanbridge House School, Horsham

Reviewed by Annie Everall