cover image Lost in the Never Woods

Lost in the Never Woods

Aiden Thomas. Swoon, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-25031-397-3

Coping with tragedy and growing up too fast takes center stage in this compassionate rural Oregon reimagining of Peter Pan. Five years ago, Wendy Darling and her brothers vanished in the dangerous woods outside town—and six months later, on her 13th birthday, she alone was found, amnesiac, with her brothers’ blood under her fingernails. Now 18 and ready for nursing school, Wendy compulsively sketches a sinister, twisted tree as well as Peter Pan, the imaginary protagonist from her mother’s bedtime stories. When children start disappearing again, the real Peter appears, fearful of growing up and begging Wendy to help find his rogue shadow, locate the children that his shadow is stealing, and perhaps save her still-missing brothers. But as Wendy’s memories begin to resurface, she realizes that Peter’s been keeping secrets—and that she’ll need to face her own painful truth. Despite a somewhat simplistic antagonist, Thomas’s (Cemetery Boys) immersive prose and nuanced, trauma-informed perspective add real depth to Barrie’s classic characters. Readers of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series and Laura E. Weymouth will settle into this emotionally generous update. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Jennifer March Soloway, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.) [/em]