Book Review: Wicked's Way by Anna Fienberg

Wicked's Way by Anna Fienberg is a high-seas pirate adventure for middle grade readers. Will could walk a tightrope and juggle bananas as he went. 'One day you'll be the star of a circus,' his mother told him. 'But until then, you must be a secret.' For each year pirates came to the islands to steal young boys for their crew. And if that happened to you, well, you may as well kiss your life goodbye. So what's a young lad to do when his mother disappears and pirates arrive at his door? Will takes courage from a crazy truth-telling parrot, and his mother's advice: 'Keep putting one foot in front of the other and your eyes on the prize.' But will this be enough to survive the perils at sea? And will that infuriatingly polite boy called Horrendo finally tip the balance?

Wicked's Way is a coming of age story full of peril and tough choices. Will tries to do what he should, and be the best boy he can. However, more often than not his good intentions get him into trouble or are not well received by others. Hard life, frustration, and resentment can change a boy, and Will is no different. Losing his mother, and the good things in his life by way of pirates sets Will on a hard road, and he needs to face dangers both physical and emotional. I could empathize with Will along the way, he was always trying to help, be nice, do the right thing- and he is mocked or looked down upon for it. Life just seems not o be fair, particularly when others get appreciation for things Will would have done and been sneered at for. I understand, and I think most of us have had a meeting, group project, or time with friends or family that made us feel that way. (No? Just me?) My heart broke for Will as he changed, and struggled through out the story. Emotions and tensions were high through the majority of the book, and I think there are many that will add this to their favorite reads pile. 

Wicked's Way is a heart wrenching adventure story with characters that readers can relate to, and sometimes want to laugh or yell at. The story is engaging and will not let go. Now I need to go back and read Horrendo's Curse, which might give me more information on a secondary character or two and a new perspective on parts of the story. I hope it will capture my attention in the same way. 
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