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The Wilderness of Girls

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by Madeline Claire Franklin (Author) 

An Indie Next Pick

An unflinching YA debut about a troubled teen who discovers a pack of feral girls in the woods and is swept up in the ensuing mystery: Are the Wild Girls of Happy Valley lost princesses from a faraway land, as they believe, or are they brainwashed victims of a deranged kidnapper?

In her ambitious debut perfect for fans of Sadie and The Hazel Wood, Madeline Claire Franklin crafts a gripping exploration of how the world teaches young girls to cage their wildness—and what happens when they claw themselves free.

After being placed in foster care, Rhi is hungry for a fresh start and begins working at the Happy Valley Wildlife Preserve. While in the woods, she stumbles upon a surreal sight: a pack of wolves guarding four feral and majestic girls. After Rhi gains their trust, they reveal that they’re princesses from another land, raised by a magical prophet they call Mother—and they're convinced Rhi is their lost fifth sister.

Unsure what to believe, Rhi ushers the girls to civilization, where they’re met with societal uproar and scrutiny, dubbed by the ravenous media and true crime junkies as “The Wild Girls of Happy Valley.” Desperate to return to their kingdom, the girls look to Rhi for help. Rhi knows the girls are deluded, but at the same time she’s drawn in by their boldness and authenticity—traits she is afraid she has lost within herself. And when Rhi witnesses strange phenomena she can’t quite explain, the line between fantasy and reality grows blurry.

As the hunt for answers intensifies, Rhi must make a decision that will change the course of her lives and the lives of her Wild Girls forever.


“Tender and raw, this debut isn’t afraid to dig into the agonizing interior lives of teen girls, the ways our world tries to break them, and the bonds they create to survive it.” ―Booklist

“The novel’s storylines paint a compelling portrait of the power of teenage girls despite constant mistreatment. . . . A compelling, thoughtful, and original debut.” Kirkus

“Eerie and engrossing. . . . Magic, folklore, and contemporary society collide in The Wilderness of Girls as it sensitively explores the pain of trauma, the beauty of found family, and the possibility that ‘There is room for so much more than any of us had ever dared to imagine.’” ―BookPage

“A searing fairy tale that blooms with ferocious magic and mystery. To all readers like me who revel in the wondrous, ominous, and strange: you have just found your next great literary obsession.” ―Nova Ren Suma, New York Times bestselling author

Categories : Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Self-Esteem


Publisher ‏ : ‎ Zando Young Readers (June 11, 2024)

Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 11, 2024

Language ‏ : ‎ English

File‏ : ‎EPUB, 4.03 MB

Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled

Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported

Print length ‏ : ‎ 363 pages

You will get a EPUB (4MB) file

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