Member Reviews

The Witch in the Woods is the first book in The Grimmworld series. It is a quirky tale that takes a family who moves to a new town for the parent's jobs and mixes the children up in a Grimm fairy tale that is tossed on its head. The children are twins, and each brings their uniqueness to the team that takes on the strange new world they have been thrown into. I love this kind of tales that take a story we know; in this case, it is the Grimm Fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, and then the author plunks it in the center of a mass plot line that involves kids who have no idea what is going on. The kids are stuck in a new school where things are beyond weird; the parents have new jobs that they won't talk about, and odd things keep happening to them. The target audience will love the twist the author puts on the Hansel and Gretel tale and may even pique their curiosity about the original tales.

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This is not a tale for the faint of heart. Jake and Willow face moving across states, a new school, bullying by a teacher, fairytales come to life and danger to their family and the world.
This tale is an ambitious undertaking in crafting a world at once familiar and fantastical.
One lesson from the tale is that kindness opens doors.
I think this book would be better for an older middle grade reader. There are some rather adult issues for Willow and Jake to grasp and I don’t think a younger reader would be the best audience due to some rather scary things in this tale.
I wasn’t sure part way in whether I would recommend this book or not, but by the time I finished I felt strongly that this first book in a series has lessons to teach and it’s entertaining along the way.
Thanks to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain for the opportunity to read this book.

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The children had mixed feelings about this book, some loved it ,others thought it was ok but not so great. I liked the way the Grimm stories were used in a new way. Would like to read more in the same series.

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Super cute.

It was definitely an interesting adventure.

Thank You to Michaelbrent Collings and SShadow Mountain Publishing, for the digital ARC provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

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My thanks for the ARC goes to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing. I'm voluntarily leaving a review.

Genre and Age: Middle Grade Fantasy, Fairy Tales (ages 8-14)

There are so many exciting things in this book that start in chapter one. It takes until about 25% through before the reader gets to the woods to meet the witch. But I don't think this will upset the kids because there is so much else going on. You've got a castle, Star Wars like swords, fairies, unfair teachers, mysterious companies and conspiracies, and MORE!

I think kids will gobble it up. The contrast between the main characters is great! Kids will relate to one or the other. Using some STEM skills to solve problems is a bonus. It's a colorful splash of a book. One conflict is solved in this book, but there is more on the horizon.

Happy reading!

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An interesting take on fairy tales for a modern audience blending historical fiction and fantasy, I'd recommend this to anyone looking for an adventure featuring a realistic sibling relationship.

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I'll be honest - I had a hard time with this one because of the author. He did a presentation for my class, and focused way more on his own accomplishments than on the book. When we finished, the kids were left wondering what the book was about and why we'd just had this conversation. It really turned them off from what should have been a great story. I may give this one another shot when the irritation has worn off.

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Intriguing. A little confusing at the start but eventually picks up pace and gets clearer. Overall a good general read.

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Willow and Jake are not thrilled about the move to New Marburg, and all its secrets. But when they get there it is pretty cool to see seniors not just doing Thai chi but fighting with laser swords while flying overhead with jet packs. But when their dad spends more and more time at work and when he is at home, he is totally oblivious to everything around him. When a big storm comes and lightening transforms their school into a castle and sends it up a beanstalk the kids find themselves in a alternate reality and that their ancestors are really the brothers Grimm, and they were much more than story tellers. Before the twins can go back to their reality they must save their only friends Hank and Pearl then save the world.
This is such a wonderful action packed, suspenseful book it will have you reading past your bedtime. I love the weaving of the Grimm fairy tales into the storyline and can’t wait for more stories to see what Willow and Jake Grimm are doing next. I enjoyed the characters as they were exactly what you would expect from kids their age. I really enjoyed this book and think people of all ages will too.

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I was intrigued to read this story because I love the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. I was so excited to receive this as an ARC. The story was not what I expected at all, but not in a bad way. This was different and I absolutely loved it.
When strange things happen to the Grimm twins in their new home and town they soon learn there was more to the Brothers Grimm then they have ever imagined. As Grimmwalkers they they traveled from our world to Grimmworld where all fairy tales are born. Now they are tuck in this world and they must save their friends who have been captured in the fairy tale world., get help from a mysterious wizard, learn to trust and learn to face their fears together.
I love how creative and detailed the story is . I love that it lets my imagination run wild. It was a mix between the fairy tales we love and science I never thought of. I know the story is written for kids but as an adult I am in love with this book. You are going to love this adventure. I am so amazed by the writing of this author and how Collings made me fall in love with a children’s story.

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What a fun and exciting book! This was my first book from Mr. Collings and it was such a magical adventure!

Willow and Jake were fun narrators. I enjoyed their different perspectives and their dynamic. They were very different, but stuck by one another. I really appreciate sibling dynamics where they appreciate each other while still recognizing the faults of the other the way only someone so close can. They grew throughout the story, learning about themselves and others.

The story was so interesting to watch unfold. I love fairytales and how they inspire stories. I loved the way the stories were brought to life in this unique world. Willow and Jake were so fun to follow as they learned the mysteries of their new town and what it meant for them. I also liked how their family was together. They cared for each other, even through changes and misunderstandings. It felt like things were unfolding at a good pace with an obvious arc for the book, as well as setup for future books. There was a nice mix of fantasy and adventure elements. There were also many fun side characters! I hope to see more of their friends and the cast of characters within both New Marburg and Grimmworld.

This was an enjoyable middle grade fantasy adventure. I liked how different character qualities were celebrated, intelligence, conviction, kindness, and a willingness to seek help. There is magic, action, and some more graphic adventure. It definitely had some darker elements and is likely best for upper middle grade and up.


I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required.

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This was a fun and action-packed fantasy that I’m sure my students will love! Fantasy and sci-fi are not my favorite genres, but kids who do like it will love this book!

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This book had potential, but it just didn't deliver. I hate giving bad reviews, since I know how much time and effort go into writing, so it is with much trepidation that I say that, for me, this book was all over the place—a long, boring ramble.

The characters were flat, hence, I never felt invested in them. And without caring about the characters, it's hard to care about the story.

And the story... There was a ton of action, action for days, but there was sooooo much going on that I couldn't invest in the plot either. It was like watching a ping pong match consisting of ten different tables. Keep your eye on the ball—all of them! Nope, lost interest early and never got it back.

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This book is so interesting. It is what I expected, yet not what I expected. It is thrilling, intriguing, and some moments had me laughing out loud. It is very clever. I loved the characters and the wit. The riddles are fun to try and figure out. I love the growth that Jack and Willow make throughout the book. I love how they discover not only their own strengths but more of each other's strengths as well. I am very interested in reading the next book in what I hope and expect will be a fantastic series.
Thank you to NetGalley and ShadowMountain for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Twins Willow and Jake Grimm's parents are moving them from sunny California to take a job in a closed community named Marburg, where the local think tank employs just about everyone. From the very start, things go awry, a stranger tries to keep the family from reaching the town, family photos won't stay stuck to the walls of their new home and nightly explosions come from The Tank. Their fun loving father becomes sunk into the work of quantum physics while their inventor mom doesn't even seem to remember that she has children. School is a nightmare where the twins are targeted by their teacher who continually thinks up ways to fail them. When an experiment manages to open a rift between the fairy tale world and their own world, Jake and Willow must best the wicked witch to save their classmates from being eaten.
Cleverly weaving in bits of fairy tales, modern life, science experimentation and even humor, author Collings has created a winning formula which will keep readers coming back for the continuing adventures of the twins in Grimmworld.

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Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book ahead of time in exchange for a review. It didn't disappoint! Must read!!

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Modern science meets old school magic in this fun middle grade adventure centering on 11-year-old twins Willow and Jake Grimm. Their parents are both scientists who get new jobs in a town called New Marburg in Idaho. The twins are not happy about being uprooted, and even less happy when weird things start happening like their car tire being slashed on the way there or not being able to put a nail in the wall of their new house to hang pictures. Even taping the pictures up doesn't work - the paint is impervious to everything.

But the worst part of New Marburg is school! The twins are stuck sitting off to the side in rickety old chairs while the rest of the class sits in normal desks. Their teacher, Mrs. Houseman, seems to hate them for no apparent reason, and the hall monitor is huge and picks Willow and Jake out for special harassment.

Then, one night there's a terrible storm and lightning strikes their house. The next day everything around them is transformed and the twins find themselves in Grimmworld, the source of all the old fairy tales. The only problem is, apparently the Grimm Brothers whitewashed everything and their really are no happily-ever-afters! The fairy tale characters just keep reliving the nightmares over and over again.

Lost and alone in the Cursed Forest, Willow and Jake just want to find their friends Hank and Pearl, who have somehow been transformed into Hansel and Gretel, and get back home. But their are scary creatures everywhere, unfamiliar magic all around them, and a scary witch who has it out for the twins. Is it really as impossible as it seems to rescue their friends? Will they be able to stay alive, let alone make it home to their family?

The world building and character development are excellent, as is the pacing. This book was a fun adventure story, with just enough action and suspense for the middle grade crowd. 5 enthusiastic stars!


Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read an ARC version of this novel. I read this book to my 6 year old daughter. The story kept my daughter intrigued and asking question. The Grimmworld that the author created was fantastic and very well put together. We enjoyed watching Jake and Willow relationship grow stronger and they were out through trials during the book.

On another note, there was significant formatting issues with the ARC version of the book I received. It made reading it difficult in certain areas.

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Aww I just finished reading The witch in the woods and it is literally the most epic book ever! It's like, a classic fairy tale but with a sick sci-fi twist. The author is a total genius for coming up with this stuff.

The story follows two siblings, Willow and Jake, who are on a mission to save their world from evil witch. But it's not just your typical good vs. evil thing. There's so much more depth to it. They have to navigate through all these crazy challenges and obstacles, and it's super intense.

What I loved most was how relatable the characters are. Willow and Jake are totally opposite, but they have to work together to save the day. It's like, the ultimate sibling goals. And the supporting characters? So well-written. I lowkey ship one of them with Willow 😉.

Anyway, if you're looking for a book that's like, different from everything else out there, pick up The witch in the woods , It's a wild ride from start to finish.

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This is a very good book can't wait for the second book I like it because it's a venture waiting to happen don't know what's going to happen next I want to read more

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