The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publishing Date: September 21, 2021
Content Warnings: Grief, death
“The path ahead isn’t easy. It will be filled with darkness and despair, and you will almost certainly regret your decision, just as I regret mine.”
~Narrator, The Wolf’s Curse
Twelve-year-old Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he witnessed a Great White Wolf steal his grandpapá’s soul, preventing it from reaching the Sea-in-the-Sky and sailing into eternity. When the superstitious residents of Bouge-by-the-Sea accuse the boy of crying wolf, he joins forces with another orphan to prove his innocence. They navigate their shared grief in a journey that ultimately reveals life-changing truths about the wolf––and death. Narrated in a voice reminiscent of The Book Thief and Lemony Snicket, this fast-paced adventure is perfect for fans of literary fiction fantasy such as A Wish in the Dark and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.
My spoiler free review!
This wonderful tale follows a 12 year old named Gauge who has been cursed with the sight for spotting wolves. In this universe, a wolf sighting is said to be bad luck.
If you loved the Boy Who Cried Wolf story growing up, you’ll enjoy this because it’s a delightful twist on that tale where when the towns folk stop believing his cries, his friends join forces to clear his name.
This is a fun story as much as it is a sad one. I think this would be a really powerful book to read to kids to teach them about grief and loss.
A Wolf’s Curse is a unique, expertly written story that so many readers can take something from. I definitely recommend to any and all readers.
About the Author:
JESSICA VITALIS is a Columbia MBA-wielding writer. After leaving home at 16, Vitalis explored several careers before turning her talents to middle grade literature. She brings her experience growing up in a nontraditional childhood to her stories, exploring themes such as death and grief, domestic violence, and socio-economic disparities. With a mission to write entertaining and thought-provoking literature, she often includes magic and fantastical settings.
As an active volunteer in the kidlit community, she’s also passionate about using her privilege to lift up other voices. In addition to volunteering with We Need Diverse Books and Pitch Wars, she founded Magic in the Middle, a series of free monthly recorded book talks, to help educators introduce young readers to new stories. She was recently named a 2021 Canada Council of the Arts Grant Recipient. An American expat, she now lives in Canada with her husband and two precocious daughters. She loves traveling, sailing and scuba diving, but when she’s at home, she can usually be found reading a book or changing the batteries in her heated socks.