Into The Woods - written by Lyn Gardner
Into the Woods, written by Lyn Gardner, is a fun adventure with a bit of fairytale and folklore, fractured, added in. The basic premise has the Piper (as in Pied Piper) returning to rid a town (ironically called Piper's Town) of rats. This Piper is even more sinister. His henchmen are not humans, but wolves. Storm and her sister, Aurora, live at Eden's End with thier mother, Zella (think Rapunzel) and father, Reggie. They have been told that Zella was rescued by Reggie from a tower where she was held by an ogress. Reggie is constantly going off on expeditions to discover or gather this, that, or the other fabulous thing, creature, artifact. In short, he's seldom home.
Storm is the first to learn of the Piper's coming. As Zella lay dying, after giving birth to a third daughter, she gives Storm a small pipe without telling Storm the significance and power of this pipe. After Zella's death, Reggie leaves again on another expedition. Aurora and Storm are left with the new baby to take care of (baby is named Anything, shortened to Any). This is where the adventure begins, as the Piper grows more powerful and desires to obtain the pipe from Storm. Included are various references to folk and fairytales. There is a gingerbread house with a witch who is fattening children up for something sinister. A rabbit leads the Aurora and Storm to safety as the wolves are chasing them. The ogress lives in a castle, but when the girls arrive it is like when Beauty arrived at the Beast's castle - they are fed and given a place to rest.
There is action thoughout, both the reader and Storm are hard-pressed to figure out who to trust as she works to save her sisters and others who have come under the Piper's spell.
A quick, interesting adventure with the plot driven by the need of good to overcome evil - Into the Woods is a good read. There are also some illustrations (by Mini Grey) within the text that add flavor to the telling of the story, as well as hints at what is to come.