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Zo and the Forest of Secrets

Written by Alake Pilgrim

Part of the Zo Series

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Zo and the Forest of Secrets Review

Adventure Stories Debuts of the Month Ecological and Environmental Interest - Fiction Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers

With its dazzlingly-evoked Trinidad setting and an astoundingly brave heroine, this fantastical adventure is Middle Grade fiction at its most magnificent

June 2022 Debut of the Month

Caribbean folklore meets futuristic fantasy in Alake Pilgrim’s Zo and the Forest of Secrets, an exhilarating Middle Grade adventure driven by the determination of its endearing heroine and the shocking secrets she finds in the forest. This is heartily recommended for readers who are into adventure, fantasy and ecological issues – it’s an an absolute page-turner with real-life resonance.

Zo is staying in Samaan Bay on Trinidad’s northeast coast with her mum, baby brother and stepdad, and she’s not happy. Missing her dad and friends, she decides to run away. What could go wrong? Zo’s dad has taught her everything about the forest. At least, that’s what she thinks until it takes a strange and sinister turn, and Zo must summon all her courage to find a way home, save a lost boy and navigate the unsettling truths of an abandoned research facility.

The landscapes of the author’s beloved Trinidad are brilliantly evoked — rushing rivers and tangled mangroves, mountainous rainforests teeming with plants and creatures of both the familiar and fantastical variety, among them a talking pirate spider (Cap’n Peg), robotic gnats, and the fearsome Flesh-skinner.

The novel also interweaves ecological topics, with Zo mentioning the devastating effects of large-scale logging and mining, and lamenting how companies have “destroyed the rich plant and animal life of the forest”.

As Zo faces a thrillingly relentless succession of challenges, she makes a shocking discovery that splendidly sets the scene for the second book in this duology.

Joanne Owen

Zo and the Forest of Secrets Synopsis

When Zo decides to run away from home, she isn't scared; after all, she knows the island like the back of her hand. But, as she journeys through the once-familiar forest, terrifying creatures and warped visions begin to emerge.

With a beast on her heels and a lost boy thrown into her path, could a mysterious abandoned facility hold answers? Zo must unravel the secrets of the forest before she is lost in them forever...

Zo and the Forest of Secrets Press Reviews

“Futuristic and brilliantly exciting” Katherine Rundell

“A feast for the senses! This is an incredible debut . . . one to watch” Emma Kuyateh, Primary Teach Bookshelf

“I’ve not read anything like it . . . definitely leaves you wanting more” Ayesha, Mirror Me Write

“Atmospheric and immersive . . . rich with imagery” Tom Griffiths, Check ‘Em Out Books

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781913311292
Publication date: 02/06/2022
Publisher: Knights Of Media
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781913311292
Publication date: 2nd June 2022
Author: Alake Pilgrim
Publisher: Knights Of Media
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Ecological and Environmental
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month
Collections: Brilliant Children's Books to Read this Summer,

About Alake Pilgrim

Alake Pilgrim writes from the uncanny islands of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean, where people are connected to Africa, India, China, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, thanks to the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship, and an MA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from New York University. Her stories have twice won the regional prize for the Americas in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. They have been published by The Center for Fiction in New York, the Small Axe Journal, and in the groundbreaking international ...

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