Alison McGhee, book review, Kathi Appelt, Lauren Wolk, Maybe a Fox, To Kill a Mockingbird, Wolf Hollow, Writing

Wolf Hollow — a Review

Thought for the Day:
“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the
beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.”
~ T.S. Eliot ~


Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Steven Pressfield has a really interesting post HERE about writing out of sequence. I never would have thought of doing this, but now maybe I will.

The Editor’s Blog always has great stuff. The post HERE on reviving scenes with verbs is really terrific.  

HERE are writing tips from 50 famous authors. Some good stuff and some that seems silly. 

When last we met, I promised a gently-read hardback of Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee to one of you. This week’s winner is books4learning. I don’t know the person’s real name, but you can see his/her blog HERE, and she/he is an educator and avid reader of children’s books. Congratulations, books4learning! I will get your book out this week. I have no giveaway this week, but I have a review of a terrific book, so I hope you will all keep reading.

I have had some adult books from the San Francisco Book Review I had to get through so haven’t anything lined up for a giveaway, but I did get to the library and finally knock one of the books off my TBR list that has been at the top for awhile. It is Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. Goodness! What a wonderful book. I’m so glad I got to it. 

Lauren Wolk with her book Wolf Hollow


Annabelle lives with her parents, two younger brothers, her grandparents, and cranky Aunt Lily on a farm near a small town in Pennsylvania. It is 1943 with WWII raging across the ocean, but echoing even in America’s small towns. These are simple people and their lives are simple and comfortable. The children walk to school each day through Wolf Hollow, the little boys spurting ahead of Annabelle and leaving her walking on her own. Sometimes she sees Toby in the fields as she’s walking. He’s an odd fellow who lives in the hills, seldom talks or interacts with anyone, and lives in an old smokehouse. But Annabelle has always known he is a good person and has never been afraid of him.

One day a new girl shows up as Annabelle is walking to school and threatens Annabelle. He name is Betty and she is clearly a bully. But Annabelle says nothing to anyone and decides to handle this on her own. She hears that Betty has been sent to live with her grandparents because she is incorrigible, a word new to Annabelle, but one she soon understands. Betty’s behavior escalates and she curries favor with a boy named Andy to assists her in some of her more nefarious escapades. But when Annabelle’s little brother James is injured by one of Betty and Andy’s nasty tricks, Annabelle nows she must get help in stopping her. Betty turns everything around on Annabelle and soon the town is divided. Things get even worse as Annabelle’s best friend Ruth is terribly hurt, and Betty claims the deed was done by Toby. And when Betty disappears, Toby is immediately suspected. How much worse can it get? 

This book should be very high on everyone’s TBR list. It is certainly one of the best I have read in a very long time. It reminds me in many ways of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I can’t think of much higher praise than that. The writing is amazing. The story and characters and setting are a perfect confluence for a most memorable book, one that should become an instant classic. Even though this is marketed as a middle-grade book, it should be much more widely read than that. Get this book. Read it. And do it soon. It’s just so good!

While I don’t have a giveaway this week, I will have one next week, so please come back. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. 


Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

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