#staffpick: Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker

Check out this #staffpick from Noah!

Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Parker
Young Adult
204 pages
Fantasy/Adventure/Mystery Fiction
Find it as a book here!

This story follows the paths of two neighborhood kids, who quite literally embody polar opposite personalities. Avery is a prim and proper boy who thrives by following the rules of logic and structure. On the other hand, the only thing consistent about Zib (short for Hepzibah) is her unpredictability.

One day on their ways to school, each of their walks is interrupted by uncanny instances of construction or accidents. Forced to turn around, they meet at a common thoroughfare that will allow them to reach their schools. Except, much to their surprise, the once suburban street is now cut off by a large brick wall. 

As the two unlikely friends venture over the wall, they’re transported into another world like no other and set off on a whimsical journey to find a way back home.

Noah’s Thoughts

Though this was a fairly quick read, I thoroughly enjoyed the whimsical and fantastical nature of the two protagonists’ journey. Right from the start when they cross over the “Woodward Wall”, the magic and other-worldly qualities are all around them, from the beautifully blue ferns to the human-sized talking owl. I was really happy with how much fun and fantasy this magical quality added to this story!

Moreover, I really appreciated the juxtaposition of the two wildly opposite characters. Avery is a well-mannered, composed, and proper young boy, while Zib thrives in the unexpected and plays by her own rules. Though at the beginning of the story, these differences initially prevent them from being friends, as their adventure progresses they begin to learn that each of their unique skills and traits are actually what make them such a perfect team. In this way, not only is this story about them getting home, but it is also an opportunity to showcase the sometimes overlooked value in looking at things from a perspective other than our own. Both Avery and Zib were able to learn a lot from one another, and this collaborative and diverse lesson is valuable for everyone!

Overall, the style of writing in this novel is definitely rather easy and straightforward, which makes it an ideal read for all ages. At the same time, however, the simplicity of the story does not compromise any of the captivating details that make this book such a fun read. I really enjoyed this book, and I know you will too!

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