cover image The Wolf Keepers

The Wolf Keepers

Elise Broach, illus. by Alice Ratterree. Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9899-0

Twelve-year old Lizzie loves living at a California wildlife park (her father is head zookeeper), knowing she gets to do things that “no other kid ever got to experience.” After she meets Tyler, a foster home runaway who has been hiding out at the zoo, he tells her about what happens there at night, including a mysterious visitor to the new Wolf Woods exhibit who may be making the wolves sick. Broach’s (the Superstition Mountain series) intrepid protagonists engage in sleuthing expeditions, first to determine the cause of the wolves’ illness and then to discover the location of John Muir’s lost cabin in Yosemite—moments Ratteree (Lilliput) captures in evocative pencil illustrations of human interactions with the natural world. Lizzie’s choice to follow Tyler into the wilderness (“He’d been left too often in the past, and the past was a thing you carried with you all the time, like a burr stuck to your heel”) offers just one example of the ways Broach’s characters wrestle with ethical questions throughout this gratifying, thought-provoking tale. Ages 9–14. [em]Author’s agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. Illustrator’s agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Oct.) [/em]