If my life was to be just a single note in an endless symphony, how could I not sound it out for as long and as loudly as I could?
I refuse to watch the news. The headlines are replete with haunting examples of hate and divisiveness. Makes me wish for the ghosts of Beatles past to appear and give us another heartfelt round of All You Need is Love. Imagine. Maybe that’s our challenge as human beings—to figure out how to stop judging because in the end, we’re pretty bad at it most of the time. Maybe we have to get our childhood eyes back? That’s what Lauren Wolk has me thinking after reading her moving debut novel Wolf Hollow.
While I may be a coward when it comes to the news, I am a brave reader. Wolf Hollow revolves around serious themes like cruelty, bullying, injustice, and persecution. Sounds heavy I know, but at the heart of this story is a persistent hope and an admirable empathy. Readers have the good fortune to grow with eleven-year-old Anabelle who quickly learns about the impact of a lie, the necessity of looking at somebody’s heart in lieu of their outward appearance, and the power friendship has to transcend life itself. I agree 100% with New York Times best selling author Sarah Pennypacker (who wrote Pax, a book I’ve been eyeballing that Rae instinctively gave me for my birthday): “The honesty of Wolf Hollow will just about shred your heart, but Annabelle’s courage and compassion will restore it to you, fuller than before. This book matters.”
P.S. Like The Book Thief, this novel is important not just for young adults but for everyone with a heart in their chest. Both boast lovely prose.