THE WOLVING TIME by Patrick Jennings


Age Range: 12 - 14
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Set in a medieval French village, this owes more to the historical werewolf mythology than pop culture. Laszlo’s family members are shepherds and werewolves (a contradiction that Jennings makes believable). The Embereks are, in fact, kinder, gentler, and better educated than the villagers they live among. A pitiable girl, who is victimized and enslaved by the village priest who condemned her parents as witches, observes Laszlo’s mother change into a wolf. Subsequently, under torture, the girl denounces the werewolf family. The Embereks change into wolves to escape prison, taking the girl with them and heading for a refuge offered by a kind man for whom they have done a good turn. Jennings uses his setting well to limn the double life of the family against the superstitions and harsh social and religious constraints of the time. The stew of adolescent emotions, as Laszlo reaches the age when he can transform at will into a wolf, is made more complex by the terrifyingly beautiful and dangerous world he has entered. Not as action-packed as readers might like, but layered and thought-provoking. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-439-39555-0
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2003


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