The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry

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Pub Date 15 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 29 Aug 2023

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Eleven-year-old Juniper Berry lives in a cabin with her family deep in the wild woods. Living off the grid is usually exciting, like the time she chased off three growling raccoons with a tree branch and some acorns, or when she thought she glimpsed the legendary Bigfoot. But her happy life in the wild ends abruptly when her younger brother gets sick, and the family moves to the city to be closer to the hospital.

Juniper and her older sister are sent to live with cousins they hardly know and attend a public school for the first time, which is harder to navigate than the wild woods ever were. Juniper feels like a wolf cub separated from her pack.

When Juniper notices that her cousin, Alayna, is being bullied by so-called friends, she’s ready to fight back like the wild geese do when protecting their goslings, but her cousin tells her to stay out of it; she doesn’t want Juniper making things worse. 

As the hospital bills for her brother start piling up, Juniper knows they’ll need to be paid before the family can go back to the woods, so she decides to make enough money to help out. With Alayna’s support, Juniper starts posting videos filled with her wisdom from the woods, hoping to get a following. But what if it doesn’t work? What if the bills never get paid? Not going home to the wild is Juniper’s worst nightmare. But while she’s stuck in the city, she might as well make the most of it, like sticking up for her cousin, for starters.

The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry is a story about perseverance when faced with difficult and unfamiliar challenges, belonging and finding your identity, compassion for others, and learning that our differences can sometimes be our strengths.

Eleven-year-old Juniper Berry lives in a cabin with her family deep in the wild woods. Living off the grid is usually exciting, like the time she chased off three growling raccoons with a tree branch...

Advance Praise

"Juniper is a marvelously developed character navigating extremely uncomfortable situations. Alayna, too, is developed with depth and care; she and Clara have their 'storms" (panic attacks) in common, for which they eventually get help. A fascinating, touching story of an off-the-grid family facing changes and the invisible threads that connect people."

Kirkus, starred review

“Juniper’s first-person voice and the many memorably developed characters she meets cultivate a feel-good story that reminds readers of both the pitfalls and the benefits of coexisting with others.”

Publishers Weekly

"Juniper is a marvelously developed character navigating extremely uncomfortable situations. Alayna, too, is developed with depth and care; she and Clara have their 'storms" (panic attacks) in...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781639930999
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 26 members

Featured Reviews

This book had a great premise, a family entering 'society' after living off the land for years when the youngest son gets sick and they need medical attention. They move in with their relatives and discover the wonders and difficulties of living in modern society where there are washing machines, pizza and bullies.

Aspects of the story were really well done: I loved the tight family unit, Junipers discovery of modern amenities we take for granted, and her indignant reactions to bullies at school. At times, it felt like it was trying to cover too much - you've got societal pressures, conservation, climate change, bullying, social media, familial traumas, medical traumas, siblings growing apart, intergenerational relationships, financial issues, friendship issues, the list goes on. The ending wrapped up nice and neatly in classic middle-grade style.

An overall ambitious book that I wish had looked in the mirror and taken something off before it left the house.

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I loved this book!! It was such a great mix-up of the standard Coming of Age story. Just the right amount of different to be interesting. I laughed, I cried, I questioned my own life choices a little bit. Will definitely be recommending this book.

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If you're into heartwarming book then pick this one up! Its definitely worth the read!

• it is an easy read. The chapters are short. So, whenever i want to put this book down, i spot that the next chapt was not very long and i'd continue reading just a lil bit more and more and more.

• There's a lil bit mystery that keeps you reading. Also i didn't predict everything that was happening.. so.. i like it.

• I enjoyed the plot & the setting. When it comes to the wood, i can feel a sense of comfort by nature. City, I also feel a warm feeling because I am surrounded by people and at the same time I feel overwhelmed like what June feels.

• I loved the main character, Juniper Berry. At first, her behavior was a little annoying for me, but after a while... I felt that she was a strong, steadfast figure, brave to keep trying, always knew how to love herself, rand able to face all difficulties. I also like the side characters, Harry.

• This story is packed with a lot of moral value and reflection.

• I really satisfied on how it ended.

• I don't really like Juni's Parent. I tought the author want to depicting what it is like living with a mental health problem (?). But it ended up gimme impression that Juni's Parent were a lil bit selfish.

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With young readers in my family, I’ve been wanting to read more middle school/children fiction. That way I can be there to recommend a good book for my kiddos. The first one I’ve read recently is The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry.

>> Swipe for Synopsis>>

Your child or even you will enjoy this book if you like:
* Wilderness survival
* Curious minds
* A pet goose named Zombie
* Families healing

Juni is an eleven year old girl who just wants things to go back to the way they were. Society is hard. Which now that I’ve read this in her POV, it is hard. Juni is an eye opening character. She sees the world so differently then we do. Made me realize how much we take for granted and not care how something works. I loved her character and I loved this book. I’m definitely going to buy this and recommend it to others. Chad and Shelly did a great job with this story!

Content warning: little brother is in the hospital very sick which might be traumatic for some kids.

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This is such an amazing book, mostly because of the point of view of the protagonist, who is narrating the story. She is so much a fish out of water it is amazing, but she has so much self-confidence, that it doesn’t matter if she is. Because that is not based on her self-worth.

THe basic reminds me slightly of Mean Girls, in that the main character come from a place where things make sense, to trying to figure out the politics of middle grade. But what is different is that Juniper doesn’t car. She bases how people react to the animals she knows, and figures mean girls are chickens, hen-pecking those who don’t fit in. That is the best explanation I have seen.

Juniper has been raised off the gird, but she also has good skills that were installed in her. She doesn’st take any guff, and I love her for it.

The book is so much fun, as she discovered the joy of the laundry box, where she doesn’t have to wash clothes by hand, her most hated chore.

I get why some books grab you. I get how hard it is to be an agent or book buyer, and so I especially love the beginning of the book : I can fox-walk. Foxes can walk through the woods, hardly making a sound. Spying on you. Creeping into your chicken coop. They’re sneaky. And so am I.

That sort of sums up how Juniper is in this book. Strong, and free, for the most part. And a mind that sees things as they relate to nature.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review. tHis book is coming out from Shadow Mountain Publishing 15th of August 2023.

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What a terrific book with an interesting main character’s perspective on Western society’s tools, behavior, and lifestyle. Juniper Berry has lived her life secluded in the woods with her parents, Zephyr and Clara, and her siblings, 5 year old Hawk and teen Skylark. When Hawk becomes too ill for nature’s remedies to heal, Zephyr races him back to the privileged culture he fled years ago with Clara and the girls following a few days later. While Hawk hangs onto life by a thread, the family moves in with an uncle Juniper never knew she had and he and his two daughters reluctantly try and make a place for two ignorant cousins. Told from Juniper’s wilderness-loving point of view, readers will get a very different look at the technology and routines that they experience without a second thought. If you have never lived with electricity, have always grown or hunted/gathered every bite of food, and bath and wash clothes with river water, how bizarre would things like cell phones, microwaves, and grocery stores appear? Wonderful book that taps into themes of not being afraid of what others think about you, true friendship and mental health. Text is free of profanity and sexual content and violence is limited to a few well-deserved kicks to the shin. Most main characters present as Caucasian but Zephyr may be Black and supporting characters represent a variety of skin tones and names that imply other ethnic backgrounds. Outstanding book for grades 4-7.

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What an interesting story! Juniper lives in the wood with her family, Zephyr (father), Clara (mother), Skylar (older sister) ad Hawk (younger brother) very isolated from society when a family emergency takes them to the city where Juniper learns for the first time that she has cousins. I love Juniper's personality and self-sufficiency. She doesn't care what people think of her, she is going to be herself. I wish we had more background for why her parents kept them so isolated. Thank you, NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for the opportunity to read this story. My opinions are my own.

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Juniper Berry likes living in the woods. But her brother is ill, so they move to town.
Shadow Mountain and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you). It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Juniper doesn't like living in town. The kids don't want to be friends and she has to go to school. But Hawk is very sick and in the hospital. It is hard for her.

She goes in the woods and gets him yarrow for his upset tummy. Then the woman that owns the woods finds her. She's old but Juniper tries to say why she took some flowers.

Her friend she had won't speak to her and tells her to stay away. Town is hard to adjust to.

Will Hawk survive?

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I do like Juniper Berry and her confidence because she is Amazing. While I think her parents went a little overboard in keeping them from society, they have done a good job raising a strong independent daughter. This has vibes of Haddix's Running Out of Time.

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Such a fun middle grades story. Juniper Berry has grown up homesteading in the woods. She loves her life in the woods and would never dream of living anywhere else. Her younger brother, Hawk, gets sick and has to be taken to a hospital in the city. The city is filled with so many firsts for Juniper, the biggest of which is living in an apartment with her uncle and cousins and attending public school. This book was such a fun read and it was cool to see things through the eyes of someone with such a completely different outlook on life. A great book about overcoming obstacles and finding one's place in the world.

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Imagine that you have lived your whole life off grid in the woods with your parents, older sister, and younger brother. Then you suddenly have to stay with your uncle and cousins in an apartment in the city, attend public school, and deal with bullies and social pressures that you don't even understand. That is where readers find Juniper Berry. An emergency has her family returning to the town her parents left behind and she has no idea how things function at school or even in the apartment. Her parents have always said that "society" puts too much pressure on everyone and it is impossible to be happy there. Is that really true?

As Juniper explores middle school, fashion, the concept of money, the mysteries of microwaves and cell phones, we get the chance to see the world through her eyes. I especially enjoyed her comparisons of students in her school to creatures in the forest. Her explanation that you can choose to be helpful (like a bee working for the good of the hive), or you can be beautiful but destructive and mean (like a mink killing just for sport), was especially apt for the girl she was describing.

This is a great story for those who enjoy realistic fiction, looking at everyday events from the viewpoint of an outsider, and strong female characters who refuse to give in to "society's pressure" and remain true to themselves.

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This book is excellent. I'll note that I'm not sure it's possible for a modern family to live in the woods with three kids for as long as this one does, and it would have been helpful to hear more about what could have hurt the parents so badly as to drive them into the woods. We get a little, but not much. I also wanted to know more about how their ideology was impacted; e.g. the reader could have been given more information about things like the parents' position on vaccinations: they were, after all, hesitant to get their sick son to the nearest hospital. All of that being said, I was so engaged and it took me a short while to finish this book. Character development was strong but the antagonist, Sophie, is presented with the chance to grow and we don't really see it happen.

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