Lucy in Her Secret Wood

Lucy in Her Secret Wood

A Story Inspired by Wordsworth's wild child Lucy Gray

Children - Grade 4th-6th
272 Pages
Reviewed on 02/12/2016
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Author Biography

Christina Pages, grew up in Kent, England, and came to America in her twenties. She received her Ph.D. in literature at the University of South Carolina while raising four children. She won a publication award from the International Society of Poetry in 2004 for her poetry collection, Shadow Words, and was California's State Poetry Society's 19th Annual Contest Winner in 2005. Her second poetry collection, Remember Not to Forget was released in 2013. She has published several single poems in anthologies and literary journals.
Poetry took her back to childhood, which also nudged her to begin writing for children. Her chapter book, The Mountain Boy (2007) was her first children's publication. Lucy in her Secret Wood (A Story Inspired by Wordsworth's wild child Lucy Gray) her first middle grade/YA novel, connects back to her childhood, rambling freely around the Kent countryside. But although this book grew out of her rural childhood, and her love of Wordsworth's Lucy Gray, it also addresses her concern for children, and her own 'plugged in' University students, who seem to suffer from a kind of "nature-deficit disorder" (Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods), in their oblivion of what is this side of the screen. Lucy represents the child whose mounting curiosity and wonder of nature spill into music and other artistic expressions.
Christina continues to live in Ojai, visiting her four children and grandchildren as often as she can, traveling to England and Europe to visit relatives and friends, teaching college, writing, painting, gardening, playing the piano, and keeping herself as alive as possible through art, nature, and love of her family.

Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Lucy’s step-father didn’t like her. In fact, he called her Nuisance. Never Lucy, just Nuisance. He even locked her in her bedroom, not allowing her outside. It was like a prison. So when her step-father took her deep into the woods and left her there, Lucy felt like she had just been set free. Just like the trees and the meadow full of wildflowers, even the fresh running brook – Lucy was now free. She was no longer afraid because she knew that the woods would take care of her. And it did, as did Will, a boy just little older than Lucy, who befriended her and brought her much needed supplies of food.

All was well in Lucy’s world until others discovered that she was living alone in the woods. The police came and took her away. They tried to convince her that it was for her own good. The woods was not a safe place, or so they said. But Lucy knew better. And so did Will. When Lucy was trapped in an orphanage, Will found her and helped her realize that she, Lucy, the Wild Child as he called her, needed the woods as much as the woods needed her.

This story is absolutely beautifully written, tender and compassionate. I haven’t read such a touching story since my mother gave me a copy of Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost. Christina M. Pagès’ Lucy in Her Secret Wood is a real classic, a story that gently opens the reader’s eyes to the powerful connection between humans and nature, as well as the power of music that is like a delicate web that intertwines between all of life. Powerful and unforgettable.