The kick-ass Governess of ‘Wildwood’ is a brilliant character

My seven year old daughter and I are reading Wildwood. I was psyched by the description on the back of the book, which is all about a girl, Prue, rescuing her kidnapped brother. Unfortunately, early on, Prue partners up on her mission with a boy, Curtis. The story then alternates between Prue’s POV and Curtis’s, and, as my daughter pointed out, the Curtis parts are much better. While Prue is stuck in a town of boring politicians who speak about issues that Prue (and my daughter) don’t understand, Curtis gallops on a horse through the wilderness with a mysterious woman who lives with coyotes, the Governess.

If you read Reel Girl, you know that I track images in children’s media of females shown riding creatures, many of which are magical. While males are seen in this situation all the time, and the magical creature itself is often male, females, if they are get to do this at all, are relegated to a secondary position, aptly termed “riding bitch.”

Here is a beautiful illustration of the Governess and Curtis.


So far, she kind of reminds me of the latest incarnation of Women Who Run With Wolves.

We are only about one third through the book, so I am hoping that

(1) Prue’s role gets more exciting

(2) The Governess continues to play an important role

(3) Prue is the one to rescue her brother

I’ll keep you posted.