Must Read Monday (18): The Wolf Wilder & The Dreamsnatcher
Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday! This feature is where I spotlight current and/or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!
This week features the latest from children’s author Katherine Rundell and a middle-grade debut from Abi Elphinstone:
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Publication: September 9, 2015 by Bloomsbury Children’s
Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.
When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
I am sorry to say that I have not yet read Rundell’s Rooftoppers or Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms; both which have been recommended and critically acclaimed. The Wolf Wilder looks to be another winning middle-grade title from the author: it sounds like a wonderful and well-written combination of historical fiction mixed with elements of Russian fantasy and adventure.
Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life.
Because Moll is more important than she knows… The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure.
There’s just something about dark, Gothic middle-grade fiction isn’t there? For a long time now, I have had an interest in the suspenseful and mysterious genre of children’s lit. Uncannily insightful, surprising and packing emotional depth, these kinds of novels can be such a wonder for readers. The Dreamsnatcher, the debut from author Abi Elphinstone, has just piqued my interest so much and I look forward to diving in.