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Over the Woodward Wall

(The Up-and-Under #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,869 ratings  ·  505 reviews
If you trust her you’ll never make it home…

Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, n
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by
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Melissa Seanan McGuire. The same meanie who didn't tell me this was released AS I WAS READING Middlegame. …moreSeanan McGuire. The same meanie who didn't tell me this was released AS I WAS READING Middlegame. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  1,869 ratings  ·  505 reviews

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Start your review of Over the Woodward Wall (The Up-and-Under, #1)
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
In Over the Woodward Wall, A. Deborah Baker, pen name of Seanan McGuire, brings a book within a book to life.

For those of you who haven't read Middlegame...

I'm kidding. I just couldn't resist using that gif. It's one of my favorites.

A. Deborah Baker is a character first introduced in Middlegame. She is the author of a book called, Over the Woodward Wall; snippets of which you get interspersed throughout Middlegame.

My recollection, although hazy, is that Baker is a powerful alchemist, who was inv
Sep 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
seanan mcguire is so awesome and prolific, no number of pseudonyms can contain her.

you can have my name if you need it. along with anything i own, including my organs.
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Follow the Improbable Brick Road

3.75 stars. Review first posted on

Over the Woodward Wall began its life as an imagined book, existing merely as a set of excerpts “quoted” at the end of certain chapters in Seanan McGuire’s Middlegame. But these excerpts were compelling enough that McGuire decided to use them as the building blocks for an actual fantasy series, using the pseudonym A. Deborah Baker (the alchemist credited with authoring this book in Middlegame).

Avery and
Chelsea Humphrey
Sep 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Publishing
This is a really tough one to review, but I think my rating is floating somewhere between 3-3.5 stars.

"Remember this: that it was a very safe, very ordinary town. This will be important later."

So, I'm a major Seanan McGuire fangirl, and I cannot emphasize how much I love and respect her as an author, and just a person in general. She has created so many worlds where anyone can dive in and feel welcome, and she writes under so many different genres that a reader could simply never get bored with
Jul 11, 2020 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Melanie by: Romie
Shelves: fantasy
please excuse me while i scream forever at this premise, cover, and pseudonym

Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch
Star Rating: —> 5 Stars

“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that, if you didn’t want an adventure, but sometimes adventures happen whether or not they are requested. They’re like Tuesday afternoons, or headaches, or birthdays. They do as they like.”

My GOD; I am CRYING and I don’t even know why.

I guess it is because this was an AMAZING BOOK, and reading it was JUST like reading an installment of the Wayward Children series.
That series has such a very, very tight grip on my heart. So, this is as
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ordinary, predictable, every-day ...

There once were two children living in the same street in the same city. And yet, it was as if they were living in two different worlds. For Avery is precise and loving order and routine. Whereas Zib is wild and passionate and unpredictable.
One day, on their way to school, they both end up at a brick wall that wasn't there before.

Up and over the Woodward Wall they go thus landing in the Forest of Borders in the land of Up and Under. Now they need to travel
Books with Brittany
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Absolutely delightful.
NAT.orious reads ☾
May 11, 2020 marked it as to-read
Me *promises herself to not request any more arcs for a while, says authors she's not accepting arcs at the moment*

Also me *extremely infatuated with the outline of this book, the cover and everything that goes with it - hit's request like there's no tomorrow*

Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for the free audio copy in exchange for an honest review

I was very apprehensive to read this. Partly because Seanan McGuire's books haven't been my favorite but mostly because, Seanan McGuire isn't my favorite. I met her a little over a year ago and she was very snappy and unkind (and a little full of herself). That experience left a sour taste in my mouth but I decided to give this book a chance anyway.

So, what's this book about?
Avery is an exceptional child.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-shelf, fantasy, ya
Stories within stories within stories.

Of course, this book happens to be written by a certain imaginary character, A. Deborah Baker, who wrote an imaginary book within Middlegame about two F/SF children who are bound in inexplicably and impossibly opposite ways only to meet in the center. And this book is about two improbably opposite Fantasy children who couldn't be more different who must meet, eventually, in the center.

Sound complicated? It's just mirroring within mirroring and it gives us, f
Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star, fantasy
This was very much like "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". It was definitely packed with advanture, interesting Creatures and friendship but somehow this didn't had the same magic like her Wayward children series. I obviously liked how the author wrote all the different interactions Between Zib, Avery and the creatures they had encountered in their journey. I still feel like this book is for a very specific reader who enjoys whimsical almost fairytale like stories. I enjoyed it but I wasn't rea ...more
Jenny Baker
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, 2020, fantasy
3.5 stars

It was such a joy listening to the audiobook narration even though it’s short. Over the Woodward Wall is an entertaining tale with talking trees and owls. I loved the whimsical feel and the vivid descriptions. She does a great job putting you in the scenes. I’m looking forward to following Avery and Zib in this series.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire) is the children's story mentioned in her adult novel Middle Game. However, you don't need to have read Middlegame in order to read and appreciate this story- it stands alone and doesn't reference that book. This one is more reminiscent of her Wayward Children series, albeit with younger characters, and I think if you enjoy those books this novella is definitely worth a read.

It follows a girl named Zib and a boy named Avery who are
♡ jules ♡

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

I'm a Seanan McGuire stan first, human second.
If you love the Wayward Children series, you'll definitely adore this book. It has THAT magical fairytale vibe, but with that mysterious creepy feeling that keeps you on the edge of your sit.
Definitely excited this is going to be a series.

Full RTC!

read for grade E of potions.
Over the Woodward Wall is on one side a very straightforward children's books, on the other a very meta experiment in mirroring.
This is A. Deborah Baker's first book, which in our world means "the first novella Seanan McGuire wrote under this pseudonym", but if you've read Middlegame, it means something completely different. And that's where my main doubt comes in: would someone who hasn't read Middlegame get much out of this at all? Because I'm not sure.

This is the story of Avery and Zib, two c
Wren (fablesandwren)
Thank you TorBooks for an early copy of this book!
rachel ☾
Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseTwitterInstagram
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorites
Hmmm I'm not sure how I feel about this one...... ...more
Amber J
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was interesting. I mean it was good. I enjoyed it, but I admit I was a bit disappointed. This book didn't feel that out of place with her Wayward Children series. With just a small bit of tweaking, it could have fit right in. As it is it reminds me of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz. For a book aimed at children, it is a pretty good one. I'd recommend to children of the intended age group. I give it a 3.5 stars rounded up. ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from my ARC fairy and this is an honest review!

CW: kidnapping, deception, and general scenes of adventure

Seanan does it again! I've been excited about this book ever since it was announced as a companion to Middlegame, which was a book that I loved. Zib and Avery's story was so much fun to read and I hope that there might be more about it at some point -- besides the sequel to Middlegame that's been announced. It also felt like it could somehow be linked to the Wayward Children
Lisa Wolf
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
It pains me to give a Seanan McGuire books only 2 stars, but this book made no sense to me. Over the Woodward Wall is the book-within-a-book that's a part of the (excellent) novel Middlegame, but actually reading it is just baffling. Two children get caught up in a nonsensical world that seems to have a lot of symbolism, but I couldn't tell you what it was all supposed to mean, other than the meanings ascribed to it (alchemy, don't ya know) in Middlegame. ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker delightful new Middle Grade fantasy series opener. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to give this novel a try via NetGalley. I jumped at the chance as soon as I realized that A. Deborah Baker is a pen name of Seanan McGuire, one of my favorite authors. Plus, just look at the cover - it's so beautiful! Luckily, the content are just as good as it looks. I particularly enjoyed the quirky and
Amy Imogene Reads
Sep 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
Another Seanan McGuire pen name? Blessed. Can't wait. Take my money. ...more
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

How unsettling would it be for a child to find themselves in a world that they don’t know, outside of their usual setting, forced to navigate through it to find comfort and security? Leave it to their imagination to make matters worse, or better for some, as every instant could turn into a moment of epiphany or a grand lesson in life that could change a person fundamentally. However, it is when facing adversity that one realizes that there is so
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"The Crow Girl cocked her head to the side. "Why what? Why is the road like this? The road goes everywhere in the Up-and-Under, into the clouds and down to the depths, because the road is for everyone, and something for everyone needs to be everywhere, or it isn't really for everyone at all. A garden behind a gate isn't everybody's garden, no matter what the gardeners may try to say. No, it isn't for everyone at all."

It is I, your socially distanced neighborhood Forest Witch, bringing you a revi
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book of my 24-hour readathon!

This book is basically Seanan McGuire at her best, it showcases her amazing writing style, exciting storytelling, and moral issues that she likes to discuss in her novels, all within 200 pages. So I can't wait to find out more about these characters and their adventures!
Olivia | Liv's Library
2.5 stars

I LOVE Seanan McGuire don’t get me wrong. But this is my least favorite. I mean it took me over a month to read a 200 page book! It was very underwhelming and nothing interesting happened. Thinking I need to find and watch some reviews in case there was something I missed...
Starr ❇✌❇
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Zib and Avery are two very different children who live on the same street, but have never had reason to cross paths- that is before they both find themselves before a wall that shouldn't exist. Forced to rely on each other to find a way home, and with the dubious help of the strange people who live in the Up-and-Under, they're quite far from the normal day they started with.

So this is meant to be the first part of the children's story referenced throughout Middlegame and I was so excited to get
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Fiction, Fantasie...: December 2020 | Over the Woodward Wall 1 3 Jan 12, 2021 11:15AM  

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Pen name for Seanan McGuire writing for the Over the Woodward Wall series. Also a character mentioned in the book Middlegame ...more

Other books in the series

The Up-and-Under (2 books)
  • Along the Saltwise Sea (The Up-and-Under, #2)

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