cover image The Last Wolf of Ireland

The Last Wolf of Ireland

Elona Malterre. Clarion Books, $15 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-395-54381-8

Friends Devin O'Hara and Katey Sullivan know they must hide the three wolflings they have discovered, for Squire Watson has vowed to shoot every wolf in Ireland. Paul Chandler, the town bully, learns the children's secret and reveals the pups' hiding place; Squire Watson kills two of them, but one--Sdhoirm--escapes. Devin raises Sdhoirm in the barn until he is grown; then he must set the animal free. Devin catches glimpses of him over the years, and finally Sdhoirm returns to the barn to see Devin for the last time. Transported into the distant past through Malterre's haunting, powerful imagery, readers will be held until the book's last page by his persistent sense of urgency. Authentic dialect and 18th-century details bring to life this eloquent, stirring novel, in which Devin's precious secret becomes the reader's own. Ages 9-14. (Sept.)