Book Review: Wolf Hollow

February 16, 2017

Wolf Hollow
Lauren Wolk
304 pages
Hard copy edition

From the Publisher:

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.

Brilliantly crafted, Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.


I’ve been in a big of a reading slump lately,  so when a friend let me borrow this book to read and review for her, I warned her about my slump.  But this book had me from the first chapter. And I could not put it down.  It tells the story of  almost 12 year old Annabelle and her struggle with a bully and her desire to do what is right. The book is beautifully written and I enjoyed every word.  You cannot read this book without drawing parallels between it and How to Kill a Mockingbird, and if you enjoyed that classic, (who doesn’t like it?) I truly believe this is one book you won’t be able to put down either.

I loved the time period and the setting of this book. Her family and the characters in this book were well developed and enjoyable to read. I loved her mother – and I think one of my favorite parts in the whole book is when Toby says to Annabelle that she sounds just like her, and Annabelle decides that isn’t such a bad thing. The book was a page turner, and never slowed down, but I didn’t feel like the story was rushed either.  It was really well balanced. And so many good quotes…I just couldn’t pick a favorite, and if I hadn’t borrowed this copy, I could have been underlining the whole book!

“My father looked from my mother to me, his eyes full of questions. What should we do now? How are we supposed to know what to do now?

I wasn’t sure, either. But I knew I couldn’t spend one more minute doing nothing. I knew I couldn’t grow up and live a long life with the knowledge that I had not done what I could. Right now. Before it once again made no difference. p265”
Lauren Wolk, Wolf Hollow

I will admit, there are some more serious subjects discussed in this book. (depression, bullying, ptsd) It’s a given: Betty is a bully, and is very mean.  Toby is a war veteran and he does share some parts of the war with Annabelle. So, if you are more sensitive you might want to consider that.  However, the book is a middle grade (5-8th grade) readers so while I thought some of the scenes were of a more serious nature, they were handled well.  I would say it just depends on your child.

The whole time I was reading this book I was reminded of Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles, or Love, Ruby Lavender by Wiles too.  I think they would make great read a-likes for this book.

I highly recommend this book – I loved it.  I wouldn’t mind reading it to my own kids either. I haven’t read any of her other work either, but now I will be adding them to my list!

Final Score:

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  1. Reply


    Wow! That sounds great! I’m putting it on my list! How did you like Each Little Bird that Sings? Have you read Moon Over Manifest? That book is excellent!

    1. Reply

      I loved Each Little Bird that Sings and Moon Over Manifest! This is so similar I think. I would love to know what you think. If I didn’t have a borrowed copy, I would lend you mine 🙂

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