Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Wolf Hollow is an engrossing, challenging and beautifully written upper junior novel with strong echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird. All three of us who have read it (that is Tony, Margaret and Mark) have loved this book and we feel it deserves a wide readership.
Set during the Second World War in rural Pennsylvania, the novel hinges around three protagonists: Annabelle, Betty and Toby. Annabelle is the teller of the story who is learning the complex nature of the world around her. Into her life comes Betty, a manipulative and cruel girl, though we do not really get to know why. And then there is itinerant loner Toby, war damaged and scraping a living from the kindness of the community. On the way to school Annabelle passes Wolf Hollow, where long ago wolves were caught in pits to safeguard the local farmers livestock. “A wolf is not a dog and never will be . . . no matter how you raise it”, she is told at the beginning of the story. Now, it would seem, there is another wolf abroad.
So begins a haunting rites of passage novel, but who is the wolf and who whose lies will be found out? Who is the hunter and who will be the prey?