Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
About: 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. (taken from Goodreads)
Audrey’s Thoughts: Wolf Hollow is a beautifully rendered story, though was hard to read at times. Reading about malicious and unkind bullies that are children who cause physical and emotional harm to others out of cruelty is difficult for me. Especially with the antagonist in Wolf Hollow targeting defenseless individuals as seemingly recreation.
I really liked Annabelle’s relationship with her family, her logic in the decisions she made (though sometimes I was worried that her decisions could inadvertently do harm to others), her integrity and bravery. When I put myself in Annabelle’s positions I ached for her because she was taking on such hefty burdens. But that’s good, you can definitely “feel” the characters motives and intentions.
Verdict: A good book that addresses bullying in a sensitive and thoughtful way that is middle grade and high school appropriate.