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Miss Ling, Northgate High School

Wolf Hollow

Wolf Hollow is the To Kill a Mockingbird for a new generation of readers.

Set in rural Pennsylvania during World War Two, the story follows Annabelle as she explores truth and justice and fights for what she knows to be right. When Betty, a cruel bully, moves to town she disrupts Annabelle’s previously settled life causing both physical and mental disturbance. However, Annabelle has a protector in the figure of Toby- a strange, loner of a man, who stands as an outsider to the community. When Betty goes missing, Toby is seen as the obvious culprit, but Annabelle is convinced of his innocence and will do whatever is necessary to prove it.

From its brilliant first line, ‘The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie,’ to the very last paragraph (which circled back to the beginning perfectly) Wolk writes beautifully and with purpose- you don’t feel as though any word has been wasted. Wolk also brilliantly demonstrates her ability to create atmosphere and write evocatively with just a few words- the most memorable example when Annabelle’s mother receives the phone call with the news of Betty’s fate, ‘My mother wasn’t a crier and she didn’t cry now, but the look on her face was worse than tears.’ p.259. The tension in the room is palpable during this scene and it remains my favourite part of the novel.

Wolf Hollow also has a fantastic main character in Annabelle. Written retrospectively, we receive hints that Annabelle may have made different choices were she in the same situation now, but despite this, her adolescent self is admirable for both her determination, and refusal to act as a bystander, making her easy to root for. From the opening chapters, to the final lines, Annabelle reminds us that we should always act in the face of injustice, and that we are important to the world, and to the people our lives touch, even if this is only for a fleeting moment.

Wolf Hollow was a fantastic novel that I would easily read again and that I will most certainly recommend to pupils (in fact, it’s already a favourite in our shadowing group!)It's early days but I certainly have a favourite!

Posted on: 2nd May 2017 at 05:30 pm

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