Reviewed by: Michael Thal
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction/YA
Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
Elle Jacklee became interested in writing for children as a child when she first read classics like The Wizard of Oz and The Chronicles of Nania. A nature lover at heart, Jacklee understands the delicate balance of Mother Nature’s work. It is that miracle that inspired her to create the world of Wunderwood and The Tree of Mindala. The author lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two sons.
Miranda Moon is a precocious eleven-year-old with an imagination that would be the envy of any novelist. Her popular younger brother, Marcus, is resentful about missing a huge Halloween party just because of his sister’s tall tales. She was suspended from school, so their parents whisked them away. Now they have to spend Halloween in their grandparents’ dusty old cabin rather than Marcus attending a coveted Halloween party. The boring weekend quickly turns exciting when Miranda uncovers a snow globe under a loose floorboard. When she turns the object upside down, “as one can’t help doing with water globes,” darkness falls around her, a chill sweeps the room, and the floor evaporates into cold, damp ground. Miraculously, Miranda and Marcus are transported to the magical land of Wunderwood.
Elle Jacklee brings to her readers a very creative new world that rivals Oz or Nania. Wunderwood is a botanical wonderland filled with exciting characters with magical abilities. Miranda and her brother soon learn that they have family in this mystical place, and an evil uncle bent on conquering it, even if it takes destroying all of the beautiful forest to do so.
The author does a wonderful job in character and plot development. Her only editorial weakness was the inability to cut scenes that didn’t advance the plot. Other than that, The Tree of Mindala is a worthwhile read for any reader of any age who enjoys a combination of fantasy and science fiction.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars