on April 5th 2016
Series: Wayward Children #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Published by Tor.com
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
“Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.”
What happens to kids who go on adventures to fantasy lands when they return home? Obviously, they tell people what happened to them and then they are treated as mentally ill or as the survivors of such horrific abuse that they made up stories to get themselves through their kidnappings. When they don’t recant the stories they may end up in a boarding school for their own protection.
Eleanor West takes in these children. She was one of them too. She takes the children who are desperately looking for a way to return to their lands.
I loved this book so much I read it twice. The first time I read it myself and the second time I read it out loud to my husband. I thought he’d enjoy it and so to force the issue I declared that it would be story time on the way to and from my parents’ on Christmas. That’s about 4 hours round trip and we were able to finish it. He did take the long way in order to get more reading time in though. Yes, I could have gotten the audio but he gets distracted and wants to chit chat when listening to audio. He pays attention when I’m reading.
I loved the characters. Each had been to a different land with different rules. They have a whole system for categorizing the world that you visited. It reminds me of this cartoon.
How do you come back from that?
As soon as Nancy arrives and starts to get acclimated to the strange people around her, there is a murder. Since she came from the Halls of the Dead, she’s a suspect. When murders keep happening it is up to the students and staff to find out what is going on before the authorities find out and shut down their school.
Read this one for the wonderful language and characters. The students are diverse racially and in their gender expressions. The only thing they have in common is wanting to go back home to the magical worlds they miss.
This is listed as first in a series. I would love to read more in this world.