Thursday, March 2, 2017

13. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

listened to an unabridged cd in the car
read by Emily Rankin - superb
6 unabridged cds, 7 hrs.
2016, Dutton Book for Young Readers
304 pgs.
Historical fiction for upper middle grades (and up)
Finished 3-2-17
Goodreads rating: 4.3 - 4695 ratings
My rating: 5
Setting: rural Pennsylvania, just after World War II
Newbery Honor Award

First line/s:  "The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie.  I don't mean the small fibs that children tell.  I mean real lies fed by real fears - things I said and did that took me out of the life I'd always known and put me down hard in a new one."

My comments:  Well.  This was an exceptionally heavy story, particularly for middle grade students of younger ages. That's not bad at all, though I think it might be a little tough for third or fourth graders until they're a little older - why force kids to grow up earlier than need be? It is an exceptionally well written story that will stay with me for a long, long while.  More and more in my life I wonder why people enjoy being mean, why a bully becomes a bully, and how easy it is for some people to lie.  Rural Pennsylvania in the after-World War II years is the perfect setting for this extraordinary story.

Goodreads synopsis:  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, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.

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