Christina M. Pagès
Poet and Painter of Nature, Award-winning Children's Author (*Finalist in the 2022 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Contest).
Lucy's mean stepdad takes Lucy from the little room where she has been
locked away, and abandons her in a remote English wood. But this is the
best thing her stepdad could have done for her. She isn't afraid of all the
beauty and life around her. She is thankful to be outside and part of the world
around her. She experiences freedom, magic, and her kindred spirit in a
young boy named Will, who brings her food from his grandma's house, and
promises to keep her secret and living in the woods.
This middle-grade children's novel is a Finalist in the 2022 Screencraft Cinematic Book Contest, and has won 7 awards:
Literary Classics' 2017 Eloquent Quill Award for Youth Fiction
Literary Classics' Gold Award
Readers' Favorites Silver Award
Literary Classics' Seal of Approval
The Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
The New York City Big Book Award
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The Authors Show Radio Interview with Don McCauley and Christina Pages about Lucy in Her Secret Wood. Click on the
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NEWS - Top Honors Book Awards Announced
Release Date: July 1, 2017
SOUTH DAKOTA - One of the most anticipated moments in the world of children's and young adult literature has arrived. The 2017 Literary Classics Top Honors Book Award recipients have been announced. Selected from submissions by entrants around the globe, these distinguished honorees are recognized for their contributions to the craft of writing, illustrating, and publishing exceptional literature for a youth audience. In this highly competitive industry these books represent the foremost in literature in their respective categories.
Literary Classics created the Top Honors Book Awards in an effort to recognize the most distinguished books for children and young adults. The Top Honors Book Awards are awarded in conjunction with the Literary Classics International book awards parogram and honors books in four categories for children's and young adult literature. Onlly one recipient in each of four categories in named in this highly selective program.
The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize this year's titles in literature which examplify the criteria set forth by the Literary Classics Top Honors award selectioin committee.
2017 Literary Classics Top Honors Book Awards
The Enchanted Page Award
The Green Children
written by Kenny Chumbley and Jim Mcguiggan
illustrated by Nadya Ruvinsky
The Eloquent Quill Award
Lucy in her Secret Wood
(A Story Inspired by Wordsworth's wild child Lucy Gray)
Christina M. Pages
Words on Wings Award
Beauty and the Beast
Rebecca Hammond Yager
Lumen Award for Literary Excellence
How a Relief Kid Survived TB, Corporate Betrayal, Bankruptcy, Made Millions, and Touched the Lives of Billions
Walter Scherr, John Hanc and Deborah Chiel
A complete list of all Literary Classics International Book Award recipients and corresponding award levels, including links to Literary Classics' reviews of all award-winnig books, may be found at clcawards.org
Review from Children's Literary Classics
You know the sort of book that is so absorbing, so entirely enchanting, you wish it would never end? -- The type of book that has you crying at the finish just because it's over? That's what we experienced as we read Lucy in Her Secret Wood.
Lucy is a young girl who has had a very troubled childhood. At eight years of age she's spent most of her young life locked up in a small room with no exposure to the outside world. But when her step-father decides he's had enough of her, he takes her out to the forest where he abandons her for good. Lucy finds incredible joy in the forest where she develops a unique connection with all the elements there. The trees, the brook, and even the animals are her companions. Lucy soon befriends a young boy who agrees to tell no-one about her secret home and even brings her food and some essentials to help her survive.
Inspired by Wordsworth's wild child, Lucy Gray, this book is every bit as lovely and entirely inspired. Readers of all ages will find themselves drawn to Lucy and her magical wood. Her ability to mimic the sounds of the forest in the music she creates feels hauntingly reminiscent of Jill Paton Walsh's Matthew and the Sea Singer, yet Lucy's tale is altogether unique and absolutely lovely. Filled with many magical moments and scattered throughout with wonderful life-lessons, this book is highly recommended for home and school libraries.
Congratulations Christina M. Pagès!
"Lucy in Her Secret Wood"
is a 2016 Readers' Favorite
Silver Medal Winner
in the Children - Grade 4th-6th category!
Review by Readers' Favorite
Lucy’s step-father didn’t like her. In fact, he called her Nuisance. Never Lucy, just Nuisance. He even locked her in her bedroom, not allowing her outside. It was like a prison. So when her step-father took her deep into the woods and left her there, Lucy felt like she had just been set free. Just like the trees and the meadow full of wildflowers, even the fresh running brook – Lucy was now free. She was no longer afraid because she knew that the woods would take care of her. And it did, as did Will, a boy just little older than Lucy, who befriended her and brought her much needed supplies of food.
All was well in Lucy’s world until others discovered that she was living alone in the woods. The police came and took her away. They tried to convince her that it was for her own good. The woods was not a safe place, or so they said. But Lucy knew better. And so did Will. When Lucy was trapped in an orphanage, Will found her and helped her realize that she, Lucy, the Wild Child as he called her, needed the woods as much as the woods needed her.
This story is absolutely beautifully written, tender and compassionate. I haven’t read such a touching story
since my mother gave me a copy of Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost. Christina M. Pagès’
Lucy in Her Secret Wood is a real classic, a story that gently opens the reader’s eyes to the powerful
connection between humans and nature, as well as the power of music that is like a delicate web that
intertwines between all of life. Powerful and unforgettable.
Reviewed By: Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
Midwest Review by Diane Donovan, Senior Editor
Book 1 of the 'Lucy' series is set in 1970s England and tells of eight-year-old Lucy, who has lived most of her life locked in a small closet until one day her angry stepfather takes her into the woods and abandons her.
One might think that, like Hansel and Gretel, disaster will come of this move; but in fact Lucy thrives in her new wilderness world outside of the closed-in room that has been her life. In the process of adapting to the outdoor wonders she has only read about in books, she comes to feel a new kind of freedom and appreciation for life.
Despite her friendship with a boy who helps her, and her ability to adapt, Lucy's not out of the woods yet: when authorities discover a child living alone in nature, they 'rescue' her and take her to an orphanage where, once again, she is bullied and abused.
One notable feature of Lucy in Her Secret Wood is its focus, not on the abusive situations, but on Lucy's sense of wonder as she discovers the good in her world: "This wasn’t the dusty air of her room with dirty walls and ceiling, and a battered door locking her from the outdoors. She was finally in the world where other creatures lived. The tiny window of her room had opened up to this wide, wide window full of grass, flowers, and trees." Her closed-in life serves, in this case, as a backdrop for the sense of appreciation she evolves for nature (wild though it may be), and the focus is on this sense of growth and discovery and not just upon the abuse she endures.
Gorgeous color paintings enhance the feel of Lucy's woods experience and the comfort it involves, while dialogue throughout reflects Lucy's respect for the newfound world she moves through: "You’re bluer than the sky, and you smell even better than leaves.” The flowers didn’t answer; they just bowed to her in the breeze. “I won’t ever pick you,” she told them. For in a book she had seen children carrying flowers into their house. “I would never take you inside, away from here.”
Now, all is not sweetness and light in the woods: Lucy discovers she lacks and requires very basic survival skills despite the efforts of her new friend's help, and in the course of her explorations, she learns survival and problem-solving skills: "By now her stomach was hurting, and she could feel something else happening. She was fighting back tears and even worse than that, an awful feeling that the wood didn’t care about her anymore. The trees, grass, flowers were telling her they couldn’t feed her. If she wanted food, she would have to look somewhere else. But where?"
As advanced elementary to early middle school grades read about Lucy's evolution, it becomes evident that her story is about more than abuse, escape, and an appreciation of nature: it's about healing, recovery, and how to maintain a sense of wonder and appreciation of surrounding beauty.
In this respect, Lucy in Her Secret World offers an appealing window of opportunity for kids of all ages to reconnect with the world, use art to express these connections, and ultimately arrive at better places in life where hopes, dreams and promises do come true.
Lucy in Her Secret World offers a message, not just of survival, but how to choose positive paths that wind through the world's negative influences, making it a recommended children’s novel for many reasons.
Lucy in Her Secret Wood – Book Review by Serious Reading
Lucy in Her Secret Wood is written by Christina Pagès, who grew up in Kent, England with her three sisters. She got married and moved to America in 1970. She has studied Poetry and Literature and writes poems, children’s books, and is also skilled at landscape painting. She has received an award from the International Society of Poetry for ‘Shadow Words’, her collection of poetry, and was also the Annual Contest Winner of California Poetry Society in 2005. ‘Remember Not To Forget’, her second poetry collection was published in 2013. Lucy in Her Secret Wood is her first book in the Young Adult genre.
The story begins when eight year old Lucy’s stepfather takes her out from the room where she was locked for years, takes her to a faraway English wood and leaves her there. While being locked in her room for years, Lucy had only read about nature but never had a chance to experience it. In the woods, she gets to feel her connection with nature and marvels at the beauty and life there. She is also relieved to be finally free of her angry stepfather.
In the woods, Lucy gets the freedom she never had before, and develops an amazing friendship with nine year old Will, who is her first friend ever. Will is charmed by Lucy’s wild eyes, long hair and her strange way of speaking and brings her chickens so she can get some eggs, and brings her food every day. In the woods, the girl feels at home for the first time in her life and the grandpa tree’s hollow trunk becomes the safest bed she has ever slept in. She spends her days playing woodland music – the sound of which enchants anyone who hears it.
Her fear, however, is that she will be captured and taken away from her beloved woods. And when the police find her and take her to an orphanage – run by stern nuns – Lucy finds herself imprisoned yet again in the world built by humans and longs to return to the woods that feed her wild spirit. Will Lucy find her way back to the woods? And if she does, how will she stay there?
Lucy in Her Secret Wood is filled with magic that makes the heart crave for its connection with nature.
Serious Reading Rating 90 %
Lucy in Her Secret Wood is filled with magic that makes the heart crave for its connection with nature.
90% OVERALL SCORE
“With LUCY IN HER SECRET WOOD, Christina Pagès has crafted a beautiful tale, both charming and poignant, reminiscent of those classics of children’s literature that transport us to magical realms."
Screen Writer: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Race to Witch Mountain
“Lucy calls us all into nature’s woodland. This timeless, allegorical tale, both enchanting and cautionary, is needed for readers of all ages. We have been led astray, abandoned like Lucy by a patriarchal-driven culture that takes us into rooms with small workplace windows from which to see the world. Now our natural world is in crisis. It is time to follow Lucy into nature and re-learn through a child’s eyes how to co-exist and thrive in the natural world.
Like the classic, The Man Who Planted Trees, Lucy has much to teach us about healing the earth, and the nurturing relationships we can have with plants, trees, and animals. And like Lucy, there is a mother’s voice calling us to the wisdom of
how to live in a world both urban and natural. Through this magical tale, we can all renew our connection to Mother Earth.”
Susan Squellati Florence
Author: Let Happiness be Yours, A Stunning Absence
“Christina Pagès has created an engaging story of a young girl who moves from a situation of privation to discovering a nurturing web of relationships in the natural world -- and with people who love it. This is a story of vital interconnections, all illuminated by a very memorable girl.”
Author: Relational Reality, Co-Founder of the U.S. Green Party Movement
“I am more than sixty years older than Lucy but can completely relate to her story. I, too, was "locked away" in a small office in a large corporation. Once retired, I moved into a remote cabin in the wilderness. My world became endless skies and stars, and my friends and neighbors were birds and four-legged creatures. Dreams filled my nights which led me to follow my passion and a new career of sculpting my wildlife friends. This is a wonderful story for all ages and encourages us to follow our dreams.”
Bud Bottoms, Sculptor
Author: Kid Ethics: From A to Z, Grandmother Mountain
"A wondrous, imaginative book about Lucy, a captivating girl. After years imprisoned in a dirty room, Lucy has a true awakening when she opens her eyes to find herself in the woods. With her new friend Will, she discovers the wonder of being part of creation. Christina Pages’s magical story will give all ages this joyful sense of connection."
Author: Barbie and Ruth
There are 13 Paintings
inside Lucy in Her
Secret Wood all