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The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles, Bk 1)
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Wolves Chronicles, Bk 1
Author: Joan Aiken, Pat Marriott (Illustrator)
In this chilling beginning to The Wolves Chronicles, two little cousins are left in the care of an evil governess. They escape and travel 400 miles to London with their friend Simon and his geese. A sad and sinister howling arose. It was the far-off cry of wolves "Make haste, make haste! There is not a moment to be lost!" But Bonnie an...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780440496038
ISBN-10: 0440496039
Publication Date: 11/1/1987
Pages: 168
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 35 ratings
Publisher: Yearling
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

annapi avatar reviewed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles, Bk 1) on + 334 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I've read this favorite many times as a child, and even today it still gives me a thrill, mostly as it evokes the wonder and enjoyment I felt reading it for the first time. I finally read it to the kids and while Ian didn't seem to appreciate it much (he said he found it scary when Bonnie was locked in the cupboard), Mara loved it as much as I hoped she would. This is the story of two little 19th century English girls, wealthy Bonnie Green and her poor orphaned cousin Sylvia, who has come to live with them in their mansion at Willoughby Chase. Bonnie's parents go on a vacation for her mother's health, leaving them under the guardianship of Sir Willoughby's distant cousin Miss Slighcarp, who reveals her villainy when her patron leaves by immediately plundering the estate and sending the children to an orphanage. How the two plucky children endure and escape makes for an exciting adventure. While I read this over and over as a child, I never appreciated the extensiveness of the vocabulary until I read it aloud to my kids, because I had to pause many times to explain words to them. It's a testimony to Aiken's writing skill that that does not detract from children's understanding or enjoyment of the story.
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reviewed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
A gripping read.
reviewed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
One of my favorite books growing up.
reviewed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
This book will appeal to pre-teen girls, since the young
protagonists are two cousins who survive eerie events mainly because of their wits and their devotion to each other. Three new arrivals at Willoughby Chase--four hours from London--impact the quiet, country estate. On the eve of the parents' departure for sunny climes for the mother's delicate health, the kindly squire fails to scrutinize the face and motives of his distant cousin, one Miss Slighcarp. This classic villainess plans to curb Bonnie's impulsive nature and to cover timid Sylvia, once the adults have departed for their (ill-fated) voyage. Readers soon discover that this "governess" is not alone in her scheme to take over the estate and disinherit the girls.

This delightful book begs to be read aloud; it defies the usual genre definition, yet charms by its unique style. Referring to the title, wolves are indeed very much a part of this story, as they prove a real threat to human life in long ago England. Roaming in voracious packs they prove a nocturnal menace to children and adults alike. So who will protect these isolated little girls from the vicious predators--with four and two legs? Fortunately there are two loyal servants and an enterprising goose boy who stand by our heroines, stepping up bravely to defy Slighcarp and her cronies.

WOLVES is reminiscent of Dickens because of the strange names of many characters (personality hints) and the author's shocking expose of harsh conditions in an "orphanage," which seems more like a workhouse or prison. The children prove resourceful and pro-active in their own behalf---not the passive victims Miss Slighcarp expected. Thus the Deus ex Machina ending still satisfies. WOLVES is a cute, clever and highly enjoyable read for kids of all ages!


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