Home in the Woods is not an easy book to read. This is because of several factors. The first is that the emotions of the story (the father’s death, the family leaving their first home, the poverty of the family) might make a sensitive reader uncomfortable. Eliza Wheeler presents the story tastefully, but modern children are probably not aware of the Great Depression and how it devastated the country.
However, despite that, it is a lovely story of triumph and overcovering obstacles. The second issue is that fact that it is a long picture book, dense in text. This longer story format makes it not great for the active listener but would work well with older children. Yet, the 8-year-old and up crowd (which would be a bit more receptive to subject and length) might be turned off by the picture book format. However, if the book was presented in a classroom setting, it could be a good companion to a class about the Great Depression or if you are studying family history. This is since the story itself is based on the author/illustrator’s own grandmother’s experiences as a young child.
Somber, extremely detailed illustrations are the perfect companion to the text. The colors are bold and rich, while not being over powerful and comfortable to the eye. The family and their everyday events come to life. The love of a family is perfectly shown. Along with historical notes giving more background to the events, the story of a almost forgotten time marches across the pages.