Title: WILLA OF DARK HOLLOW
Author: Robert Beatty
Pub. Date: May 4, 2021
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Young nightspirit Willa discovers an ancient, powerful magic deep in the forest in the enchanting companion to Robert Beatty’s instant #1 New York Times best-seller, Willa of the Wood.
This enchanting companion to Robert Beatty’s instant #1 New York Times bestseller Willa of the Wood is perfect for any reader who cares deeply about the natural world.
Willa and her clan are the last of the Faeran, an ancient race of forest people who have lived in the Great Smoky Mountains for as long as the trees have grown there. But as crews of newly arrived humans start cutting down great swaths of the forest she loves, she is helpless to stop them. How can she fight the destroyers of the forest and their powerful machines?
When Willa discovers a mysterious dark hollow filled with strange and beautiful creatures, she comes to realize that it contains a terrifying force that seems to be hunting humans. Is unleashing these dangerous spirits the key to stopp
ing the loggers? Willa must find a way to save the people and animals she loves and take a stand against a consuming darkness that threatens to destroy her world.
This cover is gorgeous! I love the colors and Willa looks so fierce with her little friend Charka. A++ on the cover artwork!
In the Acknowledgments section of the book, Beatty provides a thank you to folks in the Cherokee community and says “I’ve included Cherokee characters in my stories of the Blue Ridge Mountains because I have the deepest respect for the Cherokee people and wish to honor them in every way I can.” I read this after the story and I think Beatty did a wonderful job of honoring the Cherokee people. I could feel Willa’s love for the land, and the life that springs from it, on every page of the book. For me, this was reminiscent of Disney’s Pocahontas and now I understand why. It’s a beautiful tribute to the heart and soul of the American Indians.
In true Disney style, there are some heartbreaking events that take place in the story (always has to hit me with the tears!). Willa is a wonderful character and her fierceness and protectiveness of the forest is a trait that I hope many of our children will share to protect our planet and ensure our future.
The lessons, the messages and the ending were beautifully written, like a fairytale, but not, and I hope to one day see this on the big screen (it looks like it may be at least hitting our tv screens)!
Thank you to #DisneyHyperion and #RobertBeatty for providing me with this gifted copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Robert Beatty is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Serafina series and the Willa of the Wood series published by Disney Hyperion. Loved by young readers and adults alike, the Serafina and Willa books are being taught in over a thousand classrooms nationwide and have been translated into over 22 languages. Robert lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and three daughters. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives, Robert was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative magazine. In 2007, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year. When asked about the inspiration for his books, Robert said, “The Serafina and Willa books grew out of my desire to write stories about unusual and heroic young girls for my three daughters.”
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Praise for Willa of the Wood:
“Willa of the Wood will grip readers from its first page… Willa is… an admirable protagonist.”—Culturess
“A moving, atmospheric journey of hope.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Beatty conjures up a resourceful, compassionate heroine. Full of atmospheric details and richly described magic… this well-paced tale asks insightful questions about the relationship between nature and humans.”—Publishers Weekly
“The heroine is an appealing character… and her anguish is clear as she wavers between frightened self-preservation and her desire to help her friends.”—School Library Journal
“Willa is a strong and likable creature of the natural world, and seamlessly represents themes of loyalty, tradition, family, and stewardship of the Earth in this engaging story.”—School Library Connection
2018 Goodreads Choice Awards: Middle Grade, finalist
2018 Cybils Award, Elementary Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Nominee
Amazon: Best Children’s Books of 2018, ages 9-12
Imagination Soup: Best Middle Grade Chapter Books of 2018
BNKids: July’s Best Books for Young Readers, selection (2018)
Brightly: 9 Middle Grade Books for Environmentally Conscious Kids, selection (2018)
PopSugar: The Best books for Kids in 2018, as Voted by Actual Kids and Parents Who Read Them, selection
A Mighty Girl: 2018 Books of the Year, ages 9-12
3 winners will win a finished copy of WILLA OF DARK HOLLOW, US Only.
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