Title: The Wild Girls
Author: Pat Murphy
Publisher: Speak (an imprint of Penguin Group)
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 288 pages
Dear Publishing Companies,
Allow me to tell you something you probably already know: Take a book, add a matte finish to it, trace some swirly-like-ivy lines about, and add a garden or forest scene – I will most likely take the book home on the spot.
At least that’s what happened with Pat Murphy’s The Wild Girls. And despite having an equally girly and gardeny looking book on my night stand (The Distant Hours by Kate Morton), I started reading The Wild Girls that day.
Even if the cover had not been so fabulous, the first line is:
“I met the Queen of the Foxes in 1972, when my family moved from Connecticut to California.”
How do you pass up a first line like that?
It’s a story about twelve year old girls for twelve year old girls, but at twenty-nine I was still dying to know all about the Queen of the Foxes and how interesting a girl would have to be to have the honor of meeting her.
Joan meets Sarah in the woods behind an old orchard and immediately takes to her even though Sarah is malicious and contemplating throwing rocks at her. She can hit a kid dead on from about thirty feet away, too. Soon the girls are fast friends with woodsy aliases Newt and Fox, telling and writing stories together as they each escape their lives in the comfort and enchanting beauty of the woods and its wildlife.
In the spirit of Bridge to Terabithia (without the inevitable water works), The Secret Garden (without the invalid), and a dash of How to Buy a Love of Reading (or writing), The Wild Girls is a great coming of age story for girls harboring an inner Josephine March (Little Women).
I loved it. I read a lot of it to kiddo outside and she loved it as it served for a great book to welcome spring. I can’t wait to read it again when she is older and see what she thinks of it then.
In the mean time, I’m looking for more Pat Murphy titles, reading Kate Morton, and writing a novel.