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The Wolves of Willoughby Chase


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Two children stand up to a network of criminals in a snowy England where the wolves still prey...

About the Author

Joan Aiken was born in Sussex in 1924. She was the daughter of the American poet, Conrad Aiken; her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge, is also a novelist. Before joining the 'family business' herself, Joan had a variety of jobs, including working for the BBC, the United Nations Information Centre and then as features editor for a short story magazine. Her first children's novel, The Kingdom of the Cave, was published in 1960. Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books for young readers and adults and is recognized as one of the classic authors of the twentieth century. Amanda Craig, writing in The Times, said, 'She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew.' Her best-known books are those in the James III saga, of which The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was the first title, published in 1962 and awarded the Lewis Carroll prize. Both that and Black Hearts in Battersea have been filmed. Her books are internationally acclaimed and she received the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the United States as well as the Guardian Award for Fiction in this country for The Whispering Mountain.Joan Aiken was decorated with an MBE for her services to children's books. She died in 2004.


"Joan Aiken is a marvel" -- Philip Pullman
"She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew" -- Amanda Craig * The Times *
"Dickensian in flavour ... rich in atmosphere and intrigue" -- Julia Eccleshare * Guardian *
"A genuine small masterpiece" -- Time
"Thrilling tale...stuffed with atmosphere, adventure, memorable characters and luxuriant Gothic prose. Any child who discovers it will fall in love, not only with Aiken's writing, but with reading... The Wolves sequence has inspired writers from Philip Pullman to Cathryn Constable... Aiken was a genius, and her reissue deserves howls of delight" -- Amanda Craig * The Times *

Gr 4-7-The release of this audiobook coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Aiken's well-loved novel (Doubleday, 1962), and it couldn't be a more fitting tribute. The narrator, the author's daughter Lizza Aiken, savors every word as she takes us through the dark wolf infested woods of Willoughby Chase to the rich, luxurious world of Bonnie, a headstrong only child whose world suddenly descends into hardship and grief at the hands of the unscrupulous Miss Slighcarp and her cohorts when her parents leave for a sea voyage. Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia are sent to a school for orphans. Aiken voices Sylvia's longing and Bonnie's defiance as she tries to take on the numerous villains. But there are gentle voices as well-the dear housekeeper, the gooseboy, and the loyal house servant-each expressing their unique concern so that listeners are never overwhelmed by the harsh treatment the girls receive. While there is a sense of the threat of wolves outside as well as inside, the book ends with the promise of spring, the wolves have headed to northern climes, the bad guys are off to jail, and order is restored. This delightful audiobook is sure to create new fans.-Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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