Secrets of the Home Wood: the Sacrifice

None of the James family goes into the Home Wood, although no one will tell young Jonathon James exactly why. No one seems to know what happened to vanished Great-Uncle Frederic, either. Last and possibly most importantly, no one will tell him why his parents suddenly aren’t talking to each other.  When Jon sees his father’s tracks heading straight into the forbidden Wood one morning, he resolves to find out what’s going on, and follows him in. He wasn’t expecting to see his father vanish into a cracked oak. He certainly wasn’t expecting to wake up in a different forest, and he definitely wasn’t expecting to have to stop a war to get home again…

Julie Whitley’s Secrets of the Home Wood is a brilliantly imaged tale of fantasy and magic, framed in a tale of family that will gain the reader’s sympathy from the first line. Jonathon James’s adventures are coloured by his drive to find his father, and they will take him from the hidden homeplace of the San to the craggy fortress of the Maorrr in search of his father, his mother, and his answers. Whether it’s giant ants, breaking into a castle via the sewers, or rescuing a kingdom’s only heir, Jon’s courage and his determination to see his family reunited are the unifying thread of the action. This is a beautiful story of hope in the face of impossible odds that is guaranteed to keep readers of all ages turning the pages well past curfew.

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