by Lauren Wolk
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.
Source: I purchased a hardcover on a whim at the airport.
Wolf Hollow was a middle grade novel that was well written and moving. The story was just as gorgeous as the stunning cover that caught my eye at an airport bookstore, which is really saying something. It was set during World War II, but not it was not a war historical novel by any means. Instead, it was a story in a small town in Pennsylvania where twelve year old Annabelle was learning about fear in the news reports of the war and in the bully who was starting to become a problem outside of school.
Annabelle was fascinated by a war veteran living in her town named Toby. People judged him for being strange and quiet, but all she had ever seen from him was kindness. She was beginning to experience bullying by a girl in school named Betty. It began with small things, but they soon escalated and Toby also became the subject of her amusement. Annabelle fiercely defended Toby and the story took on a mind of its own as Betty’s lies put Toby’s reputation on the line.
Wolf Hollow was all about judging others, learning how to lie, learning how to tell the truth when it counts, and knowing someone’s character. Annabelle learned a lot the year she turned twelve. It does deal with some violence, but if fits well in the middle grade genre and is certainly a book I’d recommend for kids and parents alike. I enjoyed the story and I highly recommend it. I honestly didn’t expect the book to live up to the gorgeous cover, so I’m shocked and happy to know that the story turned out to be so great.