Rundell, Katherine. The Wolf Wilder
August 25th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Feo and her mother live in a cozy house in the country in Russia, where they take the pampered wolves that have run afoul of their rich owners and reintroduce them to the wild. Most of the wolves do revert to their origins, but there are three, Black, White, and Gray, who stay near the family as pets. When General Rackov thinks that the wolves have killed an elk, he threatens Feo and her mother, and eventually burns down the house and arrests Feo's mother. With the help of Ilya, one of Rackov's soldiers who decides he would rather help Feo, the two try to make their way to St. Petersburg to try to rescue her mother. Along the way, the meet a variety of people who have also been hurt in Rackov's campaign to get whatever he can from the peasants, and with this supportive community, they are able to make Rackov pay for his crimes.
Strengths: This had a very interesting premise, and the cover is fantastic. It's a good length, and decently formatted.
Weaknesses: This felt more like a fairy tale than a historical fiction book, so some background notes would have helped. The language was very lyrical, and the plot moved very slowly. I didn't like Feo very much-- she seemed to work against her own cause to a great extent.
What I really think: I was going to buy this one since I occasionally have children who want to read books about wolves, but once Ilya decided he wanted to dance ballet, it just took a weird turn. Will pass.