Parents' Guide to

The Beloved Wild

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Adventure, romance in absorbing historical fiction.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Melissa Ostrom's young-adult debut paints a vivid portrait of everyday life when our nation was still young, with a relatable narrator, a sprinkling of romance, and a dash of adventure. The Beloved Wild not only captures a time and its values vastly different from our own, but also explores timeless emotions, hopes, and aspirations that come with growing up and feeling ready to start living your own life.

Ostrom's writing is strongest when she's describing the landscape or the activities characters engage in to not only survive but thrive as well. Some of the dialogue doesn't quite ring true, and some words have a pretty modern feel to them. But teens who enjoy historical fiction will enjoy rooting for Harriet as she struggles to avoid society's stifling expectations. The ending leaves the door open for more of Harriet's life, feeling more like a satisfying chapter closing than a final "The End."

Book Details

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