“The year I turned 12, I learned how to lie.”
That is the opening line to Lauren Wolk’s beautifully written Wolf Hollow.
Publisher’s Summary: Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.
Brilliantly crafted, Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience and strength help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.
I couldn’t this one down. I brought it to school and stayed up late last night to finish it. The library has this book catalogued under a number if subject headings: family life, veterans, homeless persons, and, the inevitable, bullying. Yes, Betty is a bully, but this book is about so much more than that. Little is revealed to us about Betty’s past. We don’t really need to know because this is Annabelle’s story. It is Annabelle who lies, takes action, confesses and mourns, and learns.
I’ve mentioned two fox books that are potential 2016 Newbery winners. This is a wolf book to give the foxes a run for their money. If you have a middle grade reader, encourage them to pick this book up this summer.