Winner: 2022 Hugo Award for Best Series
In Where the Drowned Girls Go, the next addition to Seanan McGuire's beloved Wayward Children series, students at an anti-magical school rebel against the oppressive faculty
"Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company."
There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.
It isn't as friendly as Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children.
And it isn't as safe.
When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her "Home for Wayward Children," she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.
She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming...
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McGuire's outstanding seventh Wayward Children fantasy (following Across the Green Grass Fields) comes in darker than the previous novellas, tackling identity, body image, and trauma. Cora Miller has walked through magical doors, turned from modern girl to mermaid, been possessed by eldritch gods, and been spat out of her newfound home back to Earth all before the story begins. Exhausted and wanting nothing more than to forget her adventures, she eschews the comfort of Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, which caters to children who've gone on magical quests, for its rival, the Whitethorn Institute, which houses similar students, but encourages them to "believe that everything that happened on the other side of the door was just a dream, or a delusion." As Cora's sense of self crumbles under Whitethorn's rules, the institute turns from school to prison, and Cora and her peers risk losing their identities and their doorways home forever. Throughout Cora's harrowing adventures, McGuire's sense of whimsy never falters. She delivers a plot dense enough for a full-length novel in her signature lyrical prose, exploring the effect of cruel, oppressive systems on children's psyches, while keeping the series' fairy tale tone intact. The result will captivate both longtime Wayward Children fans and new readers. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary.