“Stories can start revolutions.”
The Wolf Wilder was one of my most anticipated books of 2015. I worked at Bloomsbury Children’s before it was published and I refused to read my early copy as I wanted to wait to see Gelrev Ongbico’s divine illustrations . And it was well worth the wait. I cannot decide which cover for The Wolf Wilder I love the most; it’s a stunning book, inside and out.
The Wolf Wilder is a beautiful story about one girl’s treacherous adventure through dangerous, snowy Russia to save her mother, who has been attacked and captured by the Russian Army because she refused to give them what they wanted. They burned down the house and dragged her away to a Russian prison, as ordered by the diabolical general, Mikhail Rakov. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans. Wolves are often sent back into the wild by rich owners who have grown bored – or afraid – of their good luck charms, but it’s bad luck to kill a wolf. Accompanied by three loyal wolves and a surprisingly trustworthy boy soldier called Ilya, Feo sets off into the woods and begins a journey that will change her life. Feo is a resilient and determined character, and an absolute joy to read about.
“Wolves, like children, are not born to lead calm lives.”
It’s certainly been the year of the wolf because this is the second ‘wolf’ book to make my top ten books of the year. I loved learning about each of the wolves and their personalities: White, Grey and Black, plus the adorable wolf cub and Feo’s dutiful Tenderfoot. All of the wolves are characters in their own right and guide the courageous children as they defy the adults around them. Katherine Rundell’s picturesque and memorable writing combined with Gelrev Ongbico’s haunting and wintry illustrations create a fantastic adventure story for all ages. I do not have any excuses for not picking up my copy of Rooftoppers, do I?!
“It’s inhuman to take your books away before you know the end.”
Published: September 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s (UK) Simon & Schuster (US)