Book review of First Wolf by writer and journalist Julie Phillips.

From the moment I read the first paragraph of Carole Anne Carr’s First Wolf I was hooked. We follow the journey of twelve year old Toland and his family who are forced to flee from the horrible Eorl Uhtred who is attacking villages, and due to Toland’s father’s refusal to give Eorl Uhtred what he wants, their village is next. I really cared about what happened to Toland and I was amazed by the ferocity of his sense of honour and courage as he helps his grandmother, mother and younger brother to safety. I forgot several times in the book that he is a boy and not a man. Despite his disability and young age, his dogged determination to follow his father’s instructions and the quest entrusted upon him by the monks of Lindisfarne endeared me to him and his plight. It’s a coming of age book that shows older children that although unfair and bad things do sometimes happen, the power of the good in people does win through over the bad. Sometimes children are forced to take control and lead the way. Poor Toland has enough trials and danger to last him a life time in First Wolf, but with his beloved dog Bodo by his side, and his friendship with a young girl Kendra, and help from others they meet on the way, mixed in with a little mythology and the supernatural, First Wolf is an excellent read.