In ‘Wildwood,’ once again, boy takes over for girl: Curtis usurps Prue’s quest

My seven year old daughter reported to me this morning that lost baby Mac of Wildwood was discovered by Curtis, not Prue. Oh, this made me mad!


Over the weekend, I blogged about Wildwood. I love the elaborate world-building in the book, the complex characters, and the writing, but both my daughter and I were disappointed that a book we thought was about a heroic girl, Prue, turns out to be about a heroic boy, Curtis. It’s Prue’s brother who is lost. Prue ventures into the wild to save him. It’s interesting because Curtis tags along after her, and at first, Prue tries to shake him off, but he won’t go away. Now I feel like Prue’s desire to get rid of Curtis is the manifestation (man-infestation, ha!) of the struggle of so many female characters who are forced to capitulate to the male characters, again and again.

If the gender roles of Wildwood weren’t part of a larger pattern, I’d have no problem with them. But as it stands, in kids media, strong female protagonists go missing. Curtis being the one to find missing baby Mac is such a dis and so intertwined into the story, I feel as pissed off about it as I was when Percy Jackson took over Clarisse’s quest in Sea of Monsters. I hate that my kids have to see this happen again and again.

I’m not done with the book yet and am holding out hope Prue will reclaim her role as the hero of this narrative, but its not looking good.

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