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Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods

4.8 8
by Lyn Gardner

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The fun fair is in town! With its clouds of pink candy floss and whirling big wheel, what child could resist such temptation? Little do the Eden sisters know that they are being lured into a wicked witch’s lair. . . . Belladonna wants
Aurora’s heart and Storm’s all-powerful musical pipe, and she will stop at nothing to get them. Driven by


The fun fair is in town! With its clouds of pink candy floss and whirling big wheel, what child could resist such temptation? Little do the Eden sisters know that they are being lured into a wicked witch’s lair. . . . Belladonna wants
Aurora’s heart and Storm’s all-powerful musical pipe, and she will stop at nothing to get them. Driven by vanity and greed, she makes a truly formidable adversary.

After escaping from a deadly game of hide-and-seek in the enchanted fair, our three heroines flee through the woods, with several ravenous wolves and a sweet-toothed lion hot on their heels. Now they face their biggest challenge yet: a treacherous journey into the Underworld. For only when the pipe has been safely returned to the land of the dead will the Eden sisters truly be out of the woods. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Bursting with literary references, this single-plot sequel incorporates familiar tales galore. Romantic Aurora, feisty/grumpy Storm and preternaturally verbal toddler Anything are enjoying domestic peace when wicked witch Belladonna hunts them down to eat Aurora's heart and steal Storm's magical pipe (a corrupting, all-powerful object constantly seeking its true owner, a la the One Ring). Archetypes weave through the plot (Snow White, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pandora's Box, the Frog Prince, Red Riding Hood), while classic motifs pop up everywhere (wicked stepmother, magical talisman, three sisters). Allusions so subtle they might be nonexistent twinkle a playful presence (does that tavern invoke The Muppet Movie?). This has a looser weave than Into the Woods (2007), with its metaphysical rules inorganic and rushed. The sisters are frustratingly naive, instantly believing news from unreliable sources that a loved one is dead, over and over again. However, the ending's particularly nice, neither happily-ever-after nor not so, and the overall double-meta is delicious, with characters from the Grimms' tales (and the Grimms themselves) and Greek myths both part of the sisters' cultural landscape and elements in the story itself. Grey's illustrations not seen. (Fantasy. 8-11)
Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
Fun and silly, this fantasy borrows from many other stories. It gets a little confusing at times—magic pipes, witches, fairy godmothers, princes, wolves, seven dwarves, dragons, the underworld—but kids will probably find the manic pace satisfying. Storm Eden lives with her sisters, Aurora and Any, in the family home, Eden End. Their mother, Zella, died the previous year and their father, Reggie, is off on an adventure. Aurora's boyfriend, Kit, is away trying to make his fortune. The girls are left to fend for themselves. A disguised witch arrives with a story about marrying their father, who then died. She is, of course, a liar who is trying to talk them out of their meager possessions, which include a magic pipe. Their adventures go from home to fair to home to the woods to the underworld. Throughout the story, the author stays true the world created. The illustrations add to the fun with plenty of notes, signs, and a map giving parts of the story. Reviewer: Sue Poduska
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The magical pipe that caused so many problems in Into the Woods (Random, 2006) finds its way back to Storm Eden from the bottom of the sea where she tossed it, hoping never to see it again. The evil witch Belladonna wants the pipe, but her time is short if she can't convince Storm's beautiful older sister Aurora to promise her heart to her. Using a magic mirror (one of many nods to Snow White) to improve her looks, Belladonna fools Storm, Aurora, and baby Any into believing that their father is dead and that they are now in her care. Snappy dialogue and familiar fairy-tale references, some of which cleverly poke fun at well-known characters, create the feeling of a fairy-tale community to which the sisters now belong. The girls are sometimes misguided but always believable as they venture into the Underworld, the only way to rid themselves of the pipe and save Aurora's life. Readers of the first book will happily revisit Eden's End. However, those who haven't read it may struggle since no backstory is provided and minor characters with little to no introduction greatly influence the plot. Themes of loyalty and family are creatively and unexpectedly woven into the story line and playfully point out that sisterhood can be both a blessing and a curse. Grey's black-and-white illustrations manage to be gorgeous and hilarious at the same time, and, thankfully, sneak in on almost every page.—Mandy Lawrence, Staley Middle School, Frisco, TX

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Storm Eden was talking to her mother, even though Zella had been dead for almost two years. A wild tangle of unbrushed red curls fell across her face as she kneeled in front of her mother’s grave, cleared away a small patch of snow to reveal the mossy green below, and laid a posy of snowdrops on the grassy mound.

 ‘I love you,’ she whispered, hugging the small silver birch sapling which had sprung up almost overnight by Zella’s grave following her burial. Storm’s green eyes filled as she thought of Zella, her beautiful, neglectful, lazy mother with her smile like warm sunlight, lying all alone in the cold earth.

‘I love you and I miss you,’ repeated Storm, clinging to the slender tree as if it were Zella herself. Zella had been the most negligent of mothers when alive and had barely seemed to notice her middle daughter. It was only after her mother’s death that Storm had discovered how much her mother had loved her, and it made the loss all the harder to bear. She had taken to coming to the grave every day, lying spread-eagled on the mound and talking to Zella as if she was really there. Sometimes in milder weather Storm would bring a picnic – cheese and watercress sandwiches, a couple of the scrumptious madeleines made by her elder sister, Aurora – and munch them on the grave while chatting away and telling Zella what was happening at Eden End. She told Zella how many times Aurora had tidied the linen cupboard that week and whether her new recipes for quaking pudding and giggle cake had turned out well, and how fast Any was growing up. These one-sided chats made Storm feel less lonely. It wasn’t that her sisters didn’t love her to bits, she knew that they did. But Aurora was always so busy, and Any had special privileges as the baby of the family, and sometimes Storm just felt like the one squashed in the middle who nobody really noticed, because she could look after herself. Even Netta, who Storm thought of as her own personal fairy godmother, seemed to have mysteriously given up coming to visit in recent weeks, making Storm feel more bereft than ever.

When there was enough money to buy the ingredients, Storm would take some of the dark chocolate truffles that her mother used to savour so much, and leave them beneath the silver birch tree. The next day the truffles would be gone, and although Storm guessed that they were being eaten by wild animals, it brought a smile to her face to think of her mother sitting up in the night and nibbling on the chocolate with her perfect white teeth.

‘Right,’ said Storm, pushing back her unruly curls and scrambling to her feet. There were several rips in her skirt caused by climbing trees. ‘I’ve got to go, Mother. I want to check that Aurora’s all right. She’s been worrying so much about money I think she’s making herself ill.’ She ran across the park, occasionally reaching into her pockets and throwing a few fi recrackers ahead of her that danced and shimmered with red and green sparks.

A few minutes later, Storm ran into the kitchen at Eden End to find Aurora sitting at the table weeping. She was surrounded by a large number of brown envelopes and pieces of paper across which were written the words FINAL DEMAND in angry red writing. Aurora’s exquisite oval face was becomingly pink and the tears that ran down it were gathering in a dimple on her chin.

‘What’s the matter, Aurora?’ cried Storm, hugging her sister and depositing a smear of mud on her pale, porcelain cheek.

‘She’s trying really hard to make ends meet,’ explained Storm’s little sister Any, ‘but the ends keep moving. It’s most inconsiderate of them.’

‘Have you checked if there’s any money down the back of the sofa?’ asked Storm. 

‘Of course,’ said Any scornfully. She screwed up her chocolate-button nose. ‘All we found was lots of fluff, two hair grips and a half-sucked peppermint drop. It was still very pepperminty.’

‘You didn’t eat it, Any?’ asked Aurora, who stopped crying and looked shocked. ‘That’s disgusting and extremely unhygienic.’

‘Well, I did pick the fluff off first,’ said Any. ‘It was still a bit furry, but I expect fur counts as extra protein.’

Meet the Author

Lyn Gardner was born in London. A theater critic for The Guardian, she goes to the theater five or six nights a week, which should leave no time for writing books at all. She and her two daughters have one venerable goldfish (there were two, but one came to a tragic end) and a horse—who is the most demanding, temperamental, and expensive member of the family.

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Out of the Woods 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From lover of logan lerman (happy 21st birthday!) Emma watson and percy jackson!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite book
bookluver35 More than 1 year ago
These books r amazing read the first one to it is called into the woods
Angela Mariano More than 1 year ago
this book was awesome. it had adventure, suspense, evil, good, and a wonderful plot. i enjoied it, and yiu will too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i loved this book...i was amazing!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is wonderful fabtastic! U uave to read the first one tho. That one is super wonderful fabtastic! Lyn Gardner is a great author. I cant seem to find anything else she has written tho. Whateves. Onebitof aevice: GET THIS BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago