Thursday, July 13, 2017
Written by: Lauren Wolk
Dutton Childrens Books-Penguin Young Readers Group (an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC)
2016; Grades 5-8
Eleven year old Annabelle, the straightforward and sweetly honest protagonist of this story, must cross through Wolf Hollow on her way to school every day with her two younger brothers in small town Pennsylvania in the mid 1940's. Eccentric and loner Toby, a veteran of WWI, quietly watches over them as they pass through the hollow each day and attempt to navigate the cruel antics from the class bully, Betty. A particularly violent incident occurs one day in the hollow instigated by Betty that embroils this cast of characters and the whole town in an investigation that brings out both the disappointing and commendable sides of human nature.
It is no wonder that this author won the Newbery Honor Award for this book. Each character has depth and the plot makes the reader anxious to read to the end.
There are so many rich discussion points in this book from grappling with moral dilemmas and bullies to what happens when a whole town sets its mind to liking or disliking someone. There are several heartbreaking moments in this book but I loved the unflappable character and dignity of Annabelle. I would highly recommend this book.
Review by Colleen Boff