Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Eleven-year-old Annabelle is living a relatively idyllic life on her family's Pennsylvania farm, until its normalcy is interrupted by Betty Glengarry, who has been sent to live with her grandparents because she is incorrigible. Betty's sullen presence quickly upsets the one-room school's traditional pecking order, and Annabelle and her younger brothers are Betty's favorite targets until Annabelle stands up to her. Not to be outdone, Betty shifts her attention to Toby, a strange WWI veteran already saddled with a dubious reputation within the community. Wolk conjures an aura of unease and dread from the first chapter, even as her pastoral setting and Annabelle's sunny family life seem to suggest that a happy ending is possible. The spare but hauntingly beautiful language paints every early morning walk to school, household chore, emotion, and rational and irrational thought in exquisite detail, while remaining true to Annabelle's early-adolescent voice. Her craft notwithstanding, Wolk is relentless in her message: lies and secrets, even for the most noble of reasons, have unintended consequences, as Annabelle's poignant dilemma reminds us long after the last page is turned. Perfectly pitched to be used in classrooms in conjunction with To Kill a Mockingbird.--Bradburn, Frances Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Echoing the tone and themes found in To Kill a Mockingbird and Summer of My German Soldier, this WWII story traces the unlikely friendship between a country girl and a shell-shocked veteran. Most people in Wolf Hollow, Pa., don't know what to make of Toby and his habit of circling the hills with "three long guns slung across his back." But he has always been kind to Annabelle, now 12, and he comes to her rescue when a bully torments her. After Toby is accused of a crime he didn't commit, Annabelle knows she has to take action, but her attempt to hide him from authorities spurs a chain of events that could lead to disaster. In her first book for children, Wolk (Those Who Favor Fire) movingly expresses Annabelle's loss of innocence through the honest, clear voice of her protagonist. Annabelle's astute observations of the South Carolina woods and the people who populate Wolf Hollow will resonate with many readers as they present a profound view of a complex era tinged by prejudice and fear. Ages 8-12. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-In 1943 rural Pennsylvania, Annabelle is plagued by intense and violent bullying by new girl Betty-until Betty goes missing. The prime suspect is a local World War I vet and resident oddball, Toby. Annabelle knows Toby is innocent and sets out to prove it. Prejudice is not sugarcoated; Wolk displays deep respect for readers and trusts them to grapple with complex moral themes. A middle grade novel distinguished for its stark honesty and unflinching exploration of injustice. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Two story lines wind around each other in this novel set in rural Pennsylvania in the 1940s. The narrator, twelve-year-old Annabelle, is one of the objects of vicious attacks by new girl Betty, who has inexplicably but relentlessly taken against her. In a supporting strand, a vagabond wanderer, Toby, a WWI vet suffering from what we would now identify as PTSD, is the victim of small-town prejudice as he is falsely accused of attacks that were in fact carried out by Betty. The plot proceeds with crime fiction logic and plausibility as Annabelle seeks out information, but then conceals what she knows, because who is going to believe a child's testimony? The adults, too, keep their secrets and maintain their masks. As the crimes become more serious -- and in one case, fatal -- Annabelle's role in protecting Toby becomes more and more difficult; the tension builds and never lets up. The storytelling here is dignified and the tone is memoir-ish, because Annabelle is remembering the story in the past. At points she seems a bit too wise and philosophical, but the portrait of Betty, an unredeemed sociopath, pulls no punches, and Toby is a nuanced and poignant character, an unlikely hero. sarah ellis (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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