By Lauren Wolk, 2016
Middle grade, Coming of age, Fiction
Rating: 👻👻👻👻 (4 out of 4 boos)
“Despite 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 though her bullying seems isolated at first, it quickly escalates. Toby, a reclusive World War I veteran, soon becomes the target of Betty’s attacks. While others see Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. And as tensions mount in their small community, Annabelle must find the courage to stand as a lone voice for justice.”
What’s the main character like?
Annabelle is a sensitive daughter, older sister, and friend. She cares for others and is willing to see past differences. For all these qualities and more, she is a very likable first-person narrator.
How scary is it?
This book is emotional, not scary. Somehow it accidentally ended up on my list of books to read for my spooky-themed blog. Wolf. Hollow. I don’t know; those words sound pretty scary to me. But as a coming-of-age novel, this book is bittersweet and will only scare you in the sense of making you think deep thoughts about life.
Who might like this book?
Although not deeply historical, the book does take place in an historical setting so might appeal to readers of that genre. This book seems appropriate for students who often like books that they read for school, although it’s not overly academic. I feel like most readers would get something out of this book. It’s beautiful and easy to read.
What did I like best?
Annabelle’s narration is very effective. Telling the story looking backward allows her to drop little intriguing bombshells that set up the story. Just take the first sentence: “The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie.”
What wasn’t my favorite?
No complaints here.