Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
How I came upon this book is a story of a fortuitous staff mistake. Someone MISTAKENLY put Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk on hold for one of our patrons, who is an avid reader and read the book anyway. She loved it so much that I had to read it. And it was great. It is a hidden gem, as it is beautiful writing by a debut author (I can’t wait for more from Lauren Wolk). The setting is rural Alabama during World War II, where Annabelle goes to school in a one room schoolhouse. All is calm until the evil bully, Betty Glengarry moves into town from the big city. With the help of a wandering veteran with severe PTSD, Annabelle is able to hold Betty at bay at first. But Betty’s cruelty escalates, and the terrible consequences reverberate throughout the town. With themes of prejudice, bullying, truth, grit and amazing courage, I think this book is a Newbery contender for 2016.