The snow-laden landscape speaks,
the wolves howl in delight or despair,
a girl and her mother understand them all…
Re-wilding a wolf after its failure to be a calm good-luck charm in an aristocratic household is what Marina and Feo do, but the local commander puts more value on the Tsar’s elk than on any human life.
Arrest, prison, execution – Feo must rescue her mother, accompanied by a very young Russian soldier who’d rather be a dancer and the three wild wolves whose range includes her remote home in the snowiest woods.
“Black had eaten three toes, which, technically, had belonged to an English lord. Her wolves, Feo thought, were a bunch of the most beautiful criminals.” (p. 18)
I usually donate my review copies to school libraries, but I am keeping this one for myself!
Are you brave enough to fight injustice where you live?
Book info: The Wolf Wilder / Katherine Rundell. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015. [author interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Preparing tamed wolves to live free again is Feo’s joy and job, but the general interpreting the Tsar’s wishes arrests her mother for their work, and it’s up to the girl and her wolf friends to rescue her in this lyrical tale of friendship and bravery.
Russian aristocrats believe that a wolf in the house brings good luck, but dare not kill one that won’t become a docile pet. So those wolves are sent to Marina and daughter Feo who help them become wild again.
General Rakov blames the wolf wilders for every wolf attack and arrests Marina when she continues the rehabilitation work that society demands.
Suddenly the young girl is left near their burning house with a newborn wolf pup, young teen Ilya who doesn’t want to be a soldier anymore, and three local wolves who consider Feo part of their pack.
Six days until Marina’s trial – can they travel fast enough in the winter storms?
Asking for help – can revolutionary Alexei rouse his village against harsh Rakov?
Finding a way into the walled city and prison – what will Black, White, and Gray do among so many humans?
This must-read story of friendship, love, and grit hides difficulties behind snow-covered trees, awakens compassion amid frosty hard times, and celebrates the best of loyalty against cruelty. (One of 8,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)