Winter isn’t your typical teenager. She does well in school, has a good friend, but that is where normal stops and strange begins. Winter has a destiny bequeathed to her on her birth. Her father and his father before him and so on, have been guardians of the Wood dating back to the 1200s. This means they roam their part of the magical wood and send anyone who might accidentally walk through a portal back to their own time. Winter has been training for her “job” since she was ten. However, two years ago, her training was brought to an abrupt halt. Her father disappeared and never came out of the Woods. It has been told Winter and her mother that her father stepped off the path. But Winter knows better. That isn’t possible. So what could have really happened to her father.
When Winter comes across a determined a young man traveler who keeps coming into the Woods, she makes a drastic decision. Never are travelers allowed into the guardians current time and place. That could have devastating impacts on history and change things in ways no one can begin to understand. However, this young man, Henry, says his own parents have disappeared, and he thinks that Winter’s missing father might be the key to finding his own. As much as Winter knows she is breaking all the rules, she can’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about what really happened to her father.
Not only that, but something is happening to the Woods. They are dying. Winter knows she only has a limited amount of time to figure out what is happening before everything she knows is destroyed. Can Henry be the one to help her? Can she trust him?
The Woods by Chelsea Bobulski is an interesting read in the fantasy genre and felt fresh. Recommended for mature 6th graders and up.