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Willa of the Wood

(Willa #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  3,936 ratings  ·  833 reviews
Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.

Willa, a young night-spirit, is her clan's best thief. She creeps into the cabins of the day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won't miss. It's dangerous work--the day-folk kill whatever they don't understand--but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 10th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
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T.J. Burns Authors and publishers encourage bloggers, teachers, librarians, etc. to read and review their books in advance in order to excite interest in their w…moreAuthors and publishers encourage bloggers, teachers, librarians, etc. to read and review their books in advance in order to excite interest in their works. I receive advanced reader's copies of books from the publisher via Netgalley and Edelweiss and review them before they come out. Goodreads readers, such as yourself, benefit from advanced reviews as well. You have a chance to see what books are coming out and to read reviews before purchasing the book. (less)
Jenna I think age 8+ would enjoy this book a lot. There is a lot of plot building throughout the book that readers who were a little older, like 12+, would …moreI think age 8+ would enjoy this book a lot. There is a lot of plot building throughout the book that readers who were a little older, like 12+, would understand and appreciate the special things about the book more. (less)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
FINALLY read it and loved it! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾


I got a wonderful box with the book and goodies inside and it was personally signed =) The inside of the box was amazing the way it was set up. I will leave a link below the two pictures to the goodies inside if you're interested =)

Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenna by: Carly Friedman
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
Willa of the Wood is a sweet and fun middle grade children's book. It tells the story of Willa, a thief for the Faeran clan. One night whilst out thieving, she is discovered by the day-folk man whose house she has entered. This sets off a string of events, leading Willa to discover the sinister nature of her clan's leader and the greed of the logging company which is infringing on her homeland. Now she must fight to save her beloved forest, its trees, and animals from both her own people and the ...more
Noha Badawi
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young boys and girls
Absolutely fantastic!
The perfect mix of adventure, fantasy and excitement.
Thank you Disney Hyperion for my advance reader copy

This is my first Robert Beatty book to read; having heard of Serafina before of course, I’m yet to pick it up. I had zero expectations reading this book, and I was beyond pleased. Willa of the Wood is an adventure filled middle-grade debut where nature is alive as it should, where a young brave and ambitious girl brims with the ancient powers of the forest.

Light, fast pac
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
“Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.”

This was lovely. A girl that can intrinsically blend into her forest surroundings to see but not be seen. A different kind of Robin Hood story with a female protagonist and a great plot.

She is Faeran and a thief…the best one of the forest people, the best one of her clan. Her leader has put all his trust in her. In groups, all the kids are trained to go hunting, raiding and looting for things on the other side.

Her tribes people blend into their
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not having been familiar with this author's other novels, I had zero expectations going into this, other than to have a great time. With the cute cover and fun sounding synopsis, I was sure, if nothing else, that was exactly what I was going to get.

Can I just say that I love all the heart in this book?

It was so much fun but it was so much more than just a good read. It has meaning and feeling. I loved the unexpected depth of Willa's love for her people and her woods. The setting was perfect and
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:


Trigger warning: Mention of physical and verbal abuse. Withdrawal of necessities such as food. Kidnapping children. Up till the point I read.

I was really looking forward to reading this! I have heard so many good things about this author. Unfortunately it wasn't for me.

Honestly I just couldn't handle all the dark themes. Such as the triggers above. I have read this in YA and Adult books but can't seem to take it in middle grade. I started to feel sick as I continued to read.

Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Our review is up, now, at American Indians in Children's Literature. Our expertise is on depictions of Native peoples in children's and young adult literature. Jean Mendoza wrote the review.

Our decision: We do not recommend Willa of the Wood.

Here's an excerpt of our review:

One of the themes here is assimilation vs cultural survival -- not of human societies but of a fantasy society the author calls the Faeran. They look kind of similar to humans, but have quills on their necks and sharp teeth. T
J.D. DeHart
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty is a beautifuly written book that can reach a wide range of audiences. Avid upper elementary readers would be swept in by the engaging central character of Willa, as well as the magic that punctuates this story. Middle school, high school, and even adult readers would find similar positive connects to the narrative, as well.

What is more, there is a sense of place that grounds this and the rest of this series. As someone who has spent time on at least three occa
Leah Waters
I have fallen in love with Willa and her world.

This book is beautiful and sweet--but also suspenseful and intense. The imagery is stunning, the plot fast at times and meandering at others, and the characters are wonderful.

And yeah, that ending was so cute that I was near tears.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I recieved a copy of Willa of the Wood as part of the review team.

Willa of the Wood wasn't only one of the best books I have ever read, but but one of the most meaningful. Willa is very determined to keep her wood safe. She loves the wood with all her heart, because it is one of her best friends. Willa ever since she was little she was taught to hate humans. They were cutting down the wood, her home. Soon Willa learned to love the thing she hated most. I would recommend this book to anyone who
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a very enjoyable, entertaining book, and it gave me some serious nostalgia Fern Gully vibes. However, I felt like there were certain aspects missing that could've helped bring this book next level. The biggest being that I wish there was more world-building. That part of the book felt rushed.

That said, Willa was a fantastically developed character. So brave and loyal and everything I like to see in a character. I also appreciated how dark this middle grade story was. There's death and
Clara (The Bookworm of Notre-Dame)
It wasn’t for me but this book was very sad and atmospheric and could please other readers.
Bibliophile Cat ( ^..^)ノ
Willa of the Wood is a wonderfully-written and engaging middlegrade book that is full of heart and meaning and gave me all the feels. I sped through it in two days and felt the whole time as if I was transported straight into Willa's world. It's easily in my top five reads of 2019 and one I know I'll be coming back to. I will forever adore Robert Beatty's writing.

Everything I loved (it's literally everything, tbh):

• Willa: Willa is an adorable, resourceful, determined and selfless nature child.
Cristine Mermaid
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic-realism, juve
I was feeling down and looking for something fantastical and ethereal and my co-worker/friend lent me this ARC. I read it within a couple of days. It is an amazing tale of a creature that is tied to nature and lives a magical life of being able to communicate with and interact with the woods and all that live in it.

However, this is not a sweet fairy tale. It is violent and brutal and cruel at times. I actually was a bit surprised that it was considered Juve because while I highly recommend this
La La
I have too many angry thoughts about this book to think straight right now, so I'll be back.

You can read my updates to get the flavor of my anger.

I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.
Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress)
3.5 stars
Fast paced. Loved the connection with family and tradition. Gave me Fern Gully vibes a bit too. Really enjoyed it.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of story that draws you in and holds you captive! It's the kind of story I would have loved as a youth.

Willa loves the woods. She protects them from the humans even as she steals from them. That's how she survives. Raised to belief deeply in the magic and strength of the Smoky Mountains, her world is not flat, not round but mountains.

The author has a magical style that draws you in and has you wondering about what people believe compared to what is. It's one of those books tha
Emmaline Neas
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received my Willa of the Wood copy as part of the early review team for Robert Beaty. I began reading the book intently trying to dive right into the story the story begins we meet this brand new character Willa, and she’s a little fireball...brave, and fearless, she conquers what she goes after! The novel twist and turns and we realize she is not what we first thought...and the mystery keeps unfolding, the events that move us through the storyline are breath taking and surprising... ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-net-galley
I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from Disney Hyperion and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reader, they had me at river otters.

Willa of the Wood is the engaging story of a young girl possessed of forest magic. Like so much of what Robert Beatty has given us in the past, this heroine is a source of hope and inspiration, set in an atmosphere of mystery, wonder, and strife. This is a book for children growing up in our present day, in which children are encouraged to question
Megan (ReadingRover)
I really enjoyed this book. I’ve read all of Beatty’s Serafina books and enjoyed them too but this one had a more earthy magical fantasy feel that I liked. There was a bit of roughness and brutality that I wasn’t expecting so I don’t know how smaller children will react but for me it was fine. The world Beatty build that Willa was from was amazingly detailed. I loved her relationship with the humans and how her outlook on them changed over time. I also loved how the black panther made an appeara ...more
Alyssa Barton
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance proof of Willa of the Wood.
A phenomenal book, Willa of the Wood has deep characters, a complex plot, and a mysterious world that has us all gripped at the first pages. This thrilling book gives readers an inside look at a unique girl that has a few tricks up her sleeves. We see how strangers can become family, an underdog can rise, and how the truth always prevails. Other than some grammatical errors that can be fixed quickly, this magical book ranks up top with the Harry P
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
loved it it ends happy but is sad throughout the rest !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Theresa Grissom
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5th, middle-grade, 4th, 3rd
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book.

If you loved Serafina, you will love Willa. Not as scary as the Serafina series but just as interesting and intense. Can't wait to get my hands on a hardback of this and share it with students at school!
Kathy Davie
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in the Willa historical fantasy fiction series for middle-grade readers and revolving around a young woodwitch who prefers to go it alone.

In 2018, Willa of the Wood was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Middle Grade & Children's.

My Take
It's an historical tale that causes two opposite races to consider another perspective with environment and love as a sub-theme. Willa's referring to "murdering trees" really grabbed at me.

Beatty uses a third person protagonist point-of-view from
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
I'd missed Beatty's storytelling; I am greatly overdue for re-reading and finishing his Serafina books.

Willa did not disappoint. He wrote her care of nature and family, animals and tradition, so beautifully that it was deeply felt. The book was wonderfully emotional at the end, and weaved a wonderful message through it of love. I really enjoyed to see the growth of Willa throughout the story and the bonds that she formed and cherished with those she held dear in her life, both human and four-leg
Haley Corkery
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
"But love wasn't the stone. It was the river. Love was like the glistening stars in the midnight sky, like the sun that always rises, and the water that always flows."

I loved the flow of this book just as the otters flowed with the winding river. I was entranced into a magical world I didn't want to leave and could vividly imagine on every page. From the woodland creatures, the Great Smoky Mountains, to Nathaniel and his family, each chapter was a new adventure.

My only complaint, certain chara
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alright, I saw this book in Barns and Noble, I read the summary and it sounded interesting. I wasn't sure how it was going to go, it seemed very different and I knew chances were good it would go on the long list of books I never finished. But I decided to give it a shot and, honestly, I probably just bought it because the cover looked so cool. Then I read it. It started off good and it just kept getting better. At the end of the book I was crying tears of happiness, and trust me, I never do tha ...more
Ava Welch
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book for an early review. I really enjoyed this book. I really like how Willa is a very strong, and brave girl even through the tough times. I think that Willa is a very inspirational character all throughout the book, from start to finish. This book will make you hungry for more!!
Christine Norvell
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Imaginative, intricate, engrossing
As a writer, Beatty has created a fantastical system of intertwined cultures in a vivid setting. Willa is both a realistic and mystical heroine in a complex story. As an adult reader, I loved it. The story unfortunately has many dark points or triggers even that would not be suitable for all young readers. (torture, bullying, imprisonment, violent death, abandonment)
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this author so much! He always brings so much emotions in his books and Willa of The Wood is no exception. How Willa loves and cares for everyone is adoring. I love how the characters struggle and fight for family. This is really amazing book.

!!!!Spoiler Section!!!!
Willa thieves for the clang and gets caught by Nathaniel a day folk. She's shot and runs back home. The saddest part was when Willa's grandmother passes away who is her last family member but that happens later. Her mother, f
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Robert Beatty is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Serafina series published by Disney Hyperion, a spooky mystery-thriller about a brave and unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate.
Serafina and the Black Cloak was a #1 New York Times best seller, has been on the list for more than 60 weeks, and won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Pr

Other books in the series

Willa (2 books)
  • Willa of Dark Hollow

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