Wing & Claw #1: Forest of Wonders Series: Wing & Claw #1
Published by HarperCollins on March 1, 2016
Source: Review copy
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, Juvenile Fiction / Nature & the Natural World / Environment
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From Newbery Medal-winning author Linda Sue Park, this is a captivating fantasy-adventure about a boy, a bat, and an amazing transformation. The first book in an enchanting trilogy, Forest of Wonders richly explores the links between magic and botany, family and duty, environment and home.
Raffa Santana has always loved the mysterious Forest of Wonders. For a gifted young apothecary like him, every leaf could unleash a kind of magic.
When an injured bat crashes into his life, Raffa invents a cure from a rare crimson vine that he finds deep in the Forest. His remedy saves the animal but also transforms it into something much more than an ordinary bat, with far-reaching consequences.
Raffa’s experiments lead him away from home to the forbidding city of Gilden, where troubling discoveries make him question whether exciting botanical inventions—including his own—might actually threaten the very creatures of the Forest he wants to protect.
Forest of Wonders is a unique blend of apothecary magic (plants, animals’ love, and buried secrets). When Raffia, who is exceptionally talented with botanicals, finds an injured bat, he convinces his parents to allow him and his cousin to seek out a rare plant that might help the bat. What happens once they find that bat and the vine set off an adventurous tale. It turns out the plant can do a lot more than heal. Raffia and his cousin separated when a unique opportunity to move to the capital and work in their labs with the vine and animals was presented. His family chooses not to go. What I loved most about this book is written for middle-grade readers, and it keeps the secrets, danger, and emotional feelings at an appropriate level. The author does a great job of bringing issues that everyone deals with as they grow up; they discover not all adults are good and hard decisions need to be made about discoveries we make in research and animals. Also, not everything is easily solved in the first book, and problems that need to be answered