Nov 9, 2007

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

by Joan Aiken

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is not about wolves, but the fear of them is certainly part of the story. Set in an alternate 18th-century England that is terrorized by wolves, this young adult adventure will appeal to anyone who (like me) loved books like A Little Princess or The Railway Children. In this story, a young girl and her visiting cousin are left to the evil devices of a jealous guardian who takes over when the parents are gone abroad. The guardian dismisses the servants, puts the girls to drudgery and eventually sends them to a boarding school where they are little more than slaves. They escape with the help of a goose-boy and plunge into danger, making their way back home through a wilderness stalked by hungry wolves and untrustworthy people... This book is the first in a series of eleven volumes written by a prolific author. In the Dell Yearling edition I found the pen-and-ink illustrations by Pat Mariott especially delightful.

Rating: 3/5                  181 pages, 1962

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