I love when my reading, through no intentional effort, falls into noticeable themes. In the last few weeks I’ve read these three books about wolves.
Old Wolf — Avi (middle grade)
I can always rely on Avi to create a good story. He’s an author who feels like an old friend. This book focuses on a boy who’s just received a bow for his thirteenth birthday and a wolf who is facing his last winter. It is clear from the start the two stories will intersect (a story structure I enjoy) but not exactly when or how. I downloaded this from my library and listened to it while walking the dog.
The Wolf Wilder — Katherine Rundell (middle grade)
I heard about this book through a Nerdy Book Club post written by teacher extraordinaire, Donalyn Miller. It’s set in the Russian wilderness, which is so beautifully and carefully rendered it becomes a character itself. The Wolf Wilder is brave and lovely and fairy tale-ish and witty. I can’t read without absorbing writing lessons of some sort, and structurally this book interested me in two aspects. First, there is little that occurs after the climax, and second, the distant third-person narration further enhances the fairy tale quality.
Wolf Winter — Cecilia Ekback (literary thriller? I’m awful at determining genres sometimes*)
This book I learned about through a Shelf Awareness advertisement. The title and the description, which included Lappland in the eighteenth century and Swedish Gothic, were enough to win me over. Like Wolf Wilder, the winter setting is key to the story and becomes a character of its own. About fifty pages from the end, I told my husband the “bad guy” was entirely too obvious and therefore couldn’t truly be “the one.” And wow, those last pages were a wild ride. The wolves in this book aren’t even of the physical variety, which I’m not going to try to explain. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.
*Because I mentioned genre for the adult title, I felt it important to point out that middle grade isn’t a genre, but an age-range classification (typically categorized for readers ages 8-12). Just wanted to clarify!
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