Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods introduces introverted, daydream-prone Zoe, who’s afraid her real life will never be as exciting as her imaginary one.
Zoe Reindeer considers herself “just Zoe”—never measuring up to her too-perfect older sister or her smarty-pants little brother. Truthfully, though, she’d rather just blend in with the plants at the family business, Doc Reindeer’s Exotic Plant Wonderland. She does have one friend, Q, and he’s the best one ever—but he’s moving away, leaving Zoe to fend for herself, and she doesn’t know what she’ll do without him. That is until a tall astronomer from Madagascar comes to the nursery looking for a Baobab tree. His visit starts a ball rolling that makes Zoe long for real adventures, not just imaginary ones—and shows her that perhaps her first real adventure is finally beginning.
Zoe in Wonderlandby Brenda Woods
'Just Zoe', as she calls herself, doesn't think she is anything special. How could she when she's sandwiched between a popular older sister and a brainiac younger brother. Because of that she takes to imagining different outcomes to events in her life. This leads to many adventures as she loses herself in a fantasy world. The one place she feels at home is in her father's greenhouse/nursery; this is where she sets herself on a course for an amazing adventure, but with an outcome not quite how she envisioned it.
Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods is a great novel that deals with the frustration of not really being good at anything in the eyes of the world, but learning to overcome that and finding out that everyone has worth. As Zoe realizes she has something to offer, she realizes the world is a little more exciting. This growth is what helps her overcome the problems that come her way, sometimes from her doing and sometimes from things out of her control. Definitely a worthwhile read for anyone that might be dealing with the 'Middle Child Complex'.
Review of an Advance Reader's Copy
Mature Subject Matter:
Divorce, cancer, loss of property through fire.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Reviewed By Sally