Review: Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thomson

Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thompson cover shows a girl in overalls, a long braid over her shoulder. A black and white cat sits on her shoulder. She holds a glowing ball in her right hand. A glowing doorway is behind her.

Greenwild: The World Behind the Door
Pari Thomson
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Published June 6, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Greenwild: The World Behind the Door

Open the door to a spellbinding world where the wilderness is alive and a deep magic rises from the earth itself . . .

Eleven-year-old Daisy Thistledown is on the run. Her mother has been keeping big, glittering secrets, and now she has vanished. Daisy knows it’s up to her to find Ma―but someone is hunting her across London. Someone determined to stop her from discovering the truth.

So when Daisy flees to safety through a mysterious hidden doorway, she can barely believe her eyes―she has stepped out of the city and into another world.

This is the Greenwild. Bursting with magic and full of amazing natural wonders, it seems too astonishing to be true. But not only is this land of green magic real, it holds the key to finding Daisy’s mother.

And someone wants to destroy it.

Daisy must band together with a botanical genius, a boy who can talk with animals, and a cat with an attitude to uncover the truth about who she really is. Only then can she channel the power that will change her whole world . . . and save the Greenwild itself.

Greenwild: The World Behind the Door on Goodreads

My Review

One of my favorite middle grade series is the Storm Keeper series by Catherine Doyle. Since I read that series, I’ve been hoping to find something new that hits some of the same notes that I loved about those books. A magical adventure, really cool friendships, an urgent quest, and optional time travel/interesting use of a timeline. GREENWILD definitely hit those notes for me.

To start with, I immediately liked Daisy as a character. She’s in awe of her mom but also recognizes that she has some flaws. She’s determined, and loyal.

Also, this book has a cat! Napoleon, a cat who shows up very early in the book, becomes a constant companion/protector for Daisy, pointing her down the right path when she gets lost or taking on the bad guys when she’s in trouble. It’s so sweet. I loved that so much.

Another thing I think GREENWILD does really well is the way that it uses events that happen seemingly just in passing to help Daisy piece together the solutions she needs to confront the bad guys.

I mentioned already that there’s a way in which the book plays with its timeline, and I don’t want to spoil anything where that’s concerned other than to say that it was one of my favorite parts. I absolutely bawled when it’s revealed how that part connects to the larger story.

So, yep. I think this is gonna be one of my favorites for this year. If you love portal fantasies or magical adventures with a timeline/time travel subplot, definitely check this one out.

Greenwild: The World Behind the Door on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Daisy’s mother was born in Iran. Her dad is white. A minor character has two dads.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Some characters have the ability to perform green magic– magic involving plants.

Violent Content
Daisy overhears a couple of adults saying harsh/cruel things to children. Situations of peril. A man kills a parrot by slamming his fist down on it. Some characters die in a battle scene. (No graphic descriptions of injuries.)

Drug Content

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of GREENWILD: THE WORLD BEHIND THE DOOR in exchange for my honest review.

Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays with Greg Pattridge at Always in the Middle

Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays

Check out other blogs posting about middle-grade books today on Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays at Always in the Middle with Greg Pattridge.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

11 Responses to Review: Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thomson

  1. Lovely review. This sounds like a terrific fantasy. I don’t read much fantasy, but I might give this a try. You make it sound very interesting. Thanks for the review.

  2. What an enticing review! I’ve added this magical adventure to my future read list. Thanks for featuring GREENWILD on MMGM this week.

  3. Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like such an exciting read, Kasey! I’m glad it hit some of the same notes as one of your favorite series, and it’s intriguing to hear about the timeline-bending and the way small moments become important later in the story. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review!

  4. How have I not heard of this book? It sounds amazing! I love all the magic and other worlds! Yay! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. Valinora Troy says:

    Sounds great, I’ve just added to my TBR (then I saw the warning about the parrot – yikes! That’s awful! Glad I’ve been warned!)

  6. Brenda says:

    Cat with an attitude, yep sounds like fun. Portal stories are always exciting to explore new worlds.