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The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling

By William Ritter

“Funny, exciting, and ultimately epic. Wow. I can’t wait for the next one.” —Adam Gidwitz, author of the New York Times bestseller A Tale Dark and Grimm

“Set in a magical world filled with incredible creatures from folklore, this fast-paced fantasy will keep readers turning the pages . . . A captivating series opener.” —Booklist, starred review

Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart, so he leaves both babies behind.

Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. When they are thirteen years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave their sleepy town and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and uncover who they truly are.

In this first book in a new fantasy-adventure series, the New York Times bestselling author of Jackaby takes readers on a journey of monsters, magic, and discovery.

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William Ritter

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Review quotes
“William Ritter draws readers ages 8-12 into an enchanted forest prowled by all manner of sinister and peculiar beings . . . Suspenseful and sometimes droll, ‘Changeling’ is a promising start to a planned series.”
The Wall Street Journal

“One of my favorite new middle grade books of any genre. The writing is superb, with all of the wit, whimsy, and wonder of Tolkien’s The Hobbit.”
The BN Kids Blog

“Ritter crafts a well-paced adventure filled with whimsy and peril, in which the bonds of family and love prove stronger than any spell or curse. With memorable characters—especially the irrepressible protagonists, who make a delightful team—and an atmospheric setting, this is a strong series opener.”
Publishers Weekly

“Set in a magical world filled with incredible creatures from folklore, this fast-paced fantasy will keep readers turning the pages as they follow the twins through the dark and mysterious woods. Unique characters with complex personalities will give readers insight into the feelings and actions of not only Tinn and Cole and their mother, but the creatures—both good and evil—they encounter on their journey. A captivating series opener.”
Booklist, starred review

“William Ritter takes familiar pieces of lore and infuses rich new life and magic into them. The characters of Changeling, both human and magical, are complex and multi-faceted: wildly brave single mothers, rowdy sensitive boys, goblins yearning for forgiveness and redemption and a Thing whose power is limited by its own insecurities. Wonderfully written, with powerful messages of love and the importance of family, Changeling is a bold start to a promising series.”
Shelf Awareness, starred review

“Fans of Michael Buckley’s ‘Sisters Grimm’ novels will delight in this fast-paced, page-turning fantasy . . . A must-buy for any collection and a title that will lead readers to other classic titles used as source ­material.”
School Library Journal

“A delightful series opener.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Ritter invests the novel’s questions about biological identity and birthright with equally powerful affirmations of bonds forged by familial love . . . The snappy, humorous dialogue and shifting perspectives keep the pace lively, and readers can look forward to learning more about Fable in the next installment.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Having established major monster cred with the wry young-adult 'Jackaby' trilogy, about a 19th-century New England detective who specializes in paranormal crimes, Oregon author William Ritter has launched a similarly otherworldly, and similarly witty, middle-grade series.”
The Oregonian

“This is the delightful beginning to a new series about goblins who seek to restore magic to the Wild Wood.”
Book Riot
“Ritter’s brand of magic here is a gift for all readers of the fantastical—young and old alike.”
The Mountain Times

“Ritter writes with humor and offers a vivid storybook setting  in a time not so long ago . . . He does a masterful job crafting his tale, conjuring up the terrors lurking in the Wild Wood and the Oddmire swamp and the nature of the evil Thing that awaits.”
The Buffalo News
“A great adventure that keeps you guessing!”
Imagination Soup
Product Details
Age range
8 - 12
Grade range
3 - 7
The Oddmire
Number of pages
Publication date
July 16, 2019