Writing as A. Deborah Baker, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Seanan McGuire introduces readers to a world of talking trees and sarcastic owls, of dangerous mermaids and captivating queens in Over the Woodward Wall, an exceptional tale for readers who are young at heart.
If you trust her you’ll never make it home…
A 2021 Locus Award Finalist!
Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.
Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.
They live on the same street.
They live in different worlds.
On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under – an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures.
And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Seanan McGuire, writing as Baker, crafts a delightful, fable-like portal fantasy that works as a charming standalone adventure and serves as a metafictional tie-in to her 2019 blockbuster Middlegame, which features Baker as a character. When two children climb over a mysterious wall, they're transported to the realm of the Up-and-Under, a bizarre land where dangers abound and anything is possible. To return home, they must "walk the length of the improbable road, all the way to the Impossible City" to speak with its ruler, the Queen of Wands. It's the adventure of a lifetime for bold Zib and methodical Avery, and along the way they brave elemental hazards, encounter confounding talking animals, and become best friends. McGuire embraces the nonsensical internal logic of the plot with glee. On the surface, this reads like a sophisticated contemporary take on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but the connection to Middlegame adds a complex, self-aware edge that elevates the story beyond the children's fantasies that inspired it. Readers won't have to have read Middlegame to enjoy this, but those who have will take pleasure in the multiple layers of meaning behind each scene. With lyrical prose and deep stores of emotion, this grown-up fairy tale works on every level.