Newbery Verdict: Wolf Hollow

20220306ma_0412Book: Wolf Hollow (2016)
Author: Lauren Wolk
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Genre: MG, Historical (WWII)
Newbery Honor Book (2017)

Opening Lines of the Book…

The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie. I don’t mean the small fibs that children tell. I mean real lies fed by real fears–things I said and did that took me out of the life I’d always known and put me down hard into a new one.


This book is about bullies. And what a bully do we get to meet in Betty, the new girl at school! She is particularly nasty. Poor Annabelle! How I felt for her as Betty made her wicked threats.

And then there was the strange hermit-type, Toby. I think I read somewhere that he’s been compared to Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, and I would say that’s about right. It turns out that Betty plans to use him as her scapegoat. Let’s just say that a lot of the grown-ups in the book think Betty is a little angel.

When Betty goes missing, things really get serious. Annabelle wants to save Toby, but she also thinks she knows where Betty might be.

I liked the little connection to photography with Toby and his photos. As a photographer myself, I like books that feature cameras and such.

The ending is bittersweet. I won’t spoil it, but there are some good things that come out in the end. And there are also some sad things. It has a nice realism to it.


I did enjoy this book overall. Although, not everything is pretty-pretty. And Betty is a hard villain to stomach. I can see why it was given a Newbery Honor!


Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Newbery Verdict Reading Challenge: This is a personal challenge for me to read books that have either won the Newbery Medal or are a Newbery Honor book. The Newbery is named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. Since 1922, this annual award has given to the author of the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” A Newbery Honor book is given to the runners-up. (Note: This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Award!)

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday


12 thoughts on “Newbery Verdict: Wolf Hollow

  1. One of my favorite novels. It is gripping and haunting with gorgeous imagery. I love how unique and memorable each character is. I think Toby was my favorite character, as was Annabelle. Betty was evil and very disturbed. And I loved Annabelle’s extended family. Great share!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read this and I loved every word. Lauren Wolk is such an amazing writer. This is a hard book to read and Betty is an especially tough character to read about. I hope I can find time one of these days to reread this book. That’s how much I liked it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  3. Pingback: My Top Reads… from 2022 | Of Maria Antonia

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