Born with the power to see monsters and ghosts that no one else can, River Rydell’s life has been haunted by the Otherwoods, a supernatural force determined to take River for its own purposes. River has no interest in being a hero and just wants to survive middle school with the fewest monster-related incidents as possible. But when their closest friend is snatched by the Otherwoods, River must gear up to save the day– with their faithful cat, Mr. Fluffy Pancakes, by their side of course. The Otherwoods is equal parts spooky and hilarious with a protagonist readers will find easy to sympathize with and root for. It’s perfect for fans of Thirteens by Kate Alice Marshall and Small Spaces by Katherine Arden.
The Otherwoods by Justine Pucella Winans, (List Price: 17.99, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781547612543, September 2023)
Reviewed by Charlie Williams, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi