cover image Gone Wolf

Gone Wolf

Amber McBride. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-85049-2

This profound middle grade debut by McBride (We Are All So Good at Smiling), set in 2111 and 2022, follows two Black tweens navigating grief and racism. In 2111, in the Bible Boot, pale-skinned Clones are the ruling class while Black children called Blues are kept separate from society. A Blue girl called Inmate Eleven lives under confinement with her genetically modified dog Ira, whose tendency to “go wolf” inspires her to imagine a world elsewhere. As Inmate Eleven learns more about the systemic racism against Blues in the Bible Boot, she discovers that everything she’s learned about the world under Clone leadership has been a lie, and longs for escape. Meanwhile, in 2022 America, 12-year-old Imogen grapples with the long-term effects of an unnamed virus that has ravaged the nation while working through an unspecified traumatic event in therapy. McBride skillfully weaves each girl’s experience into the other’s via callbacks. In this weighty read, which explores the consequences of loss, quarantine, and racism on Black youth, the author employs brilliantly inventive storytelling as a tool through which the protagonists process their grief and find their people. An author’s note details historical events addressed in the book. Ages 10–14. (Oct.)