‘Wolf Girl 4’ by Anh Do (Review)

While I’ve been busy recently with all things Germanic, my little helper Hayley has been merrily reading an eclectic range of library books (even if there have been far too many about cats for my liking…).  However, she was more than happy to make some time in her schedule when another review copy dropped through our letter box, namely the latest instalment in the Wolf Girl series.  It’s only been a few months since we took a look at Wolf Girl 3, and yet Wolf Girl 4 is now out for kids everywhere who want to know what Gwen and her furry friends have been up to – so who better to fill us in on the story than my daughter?  Over to you, Hayley 🙂

What’s the name of the book, and who is it by?
The book is called Wolf Girl 4: The Traitor, and it’s written by Anh Do and illustrated by Lachlan Creagh.

What’s it about?
At the start of the book, Gwen and her pack are in the countryside, and it all felt strange after living in the forest.  Then one day Sunrise the wolf sniffs the shawl Gwen got from a lady in the mine they were in last time, and smelled something familiar.  Then, when everyone is asleep, Sunrise runs away!

Did you like it?  Why (not)?
Yes, because I thought it was very ‘active’ (there was lots of action all the time!), and it was very good.

What was your favourite part?
My favourite part was probably when they were escaping from reptiles!!!

Was it difficult to read?

Would you recommend this book to other boys and girls?  Why (not)?
Yes, I think they’ll like it very much because there’s lots of action, and Gwen is always very brave.

Hayley, thank you very much 🙂

As I said at the end of our post on Wolf Girl 3, Hayley’s impatience for the next part of the story was tempered by the knowledge that it was already in the pipeline (kids have all the luck…).  Unlike her old man, though, she’s a rather measured reader and spread the experience out over a couple of weeks, a chapter at a time, happy to have the time spent with old friends stretch out a little.

Of course, the story is once again about Gwen and her pack, including Rupert, the boy who joined her journey in the previous part.  She’s just as keen as ever to find out where her parents are, but this time around, she has a new issue to deal with:

Sunrise kept sniffing along the length of the shawl.  As she reached the other end, her wagging tail suddenly froze in place.  In fact, she went stiff all over – except for the very tip of her nose, which twitched into overdrive.
She backed away from the shawl a little, and turned to look off into the distance.  Then her nose went low to the ground, and she turned about in a full circle.  She looked extremely confused.
pp.4/5 (Allen & Unwin, 2020)

It isn’t long before her wolf friend takes off on her own, leaving Gwen to decide whether to continue on her quest or track Sunrise down to see why she suddenly decided to leave – and what caused her to do so.

The old shawl is just the spark for a new adventure that leads the intrepid gang into uncharted territory.  One of these is an abandoned reptile park, where Gwen and co. find a lot more than they bargained for, but it’s when they stumble across an old house that things get really interesting.  Perhaps Sunrise knows something the others don’t…

As always, the writing in Wolf Girl 4 is pitched at just the right level, moving the action along swiftly while providing enough background information to keep young readers invested in the story.  It helps that Creagh’s illustrations appear on virtually every page, just in case any younger children struggle to pick up exactly what’s going on.  Hayley loves the whole idea, and judging by scraps of paper I’ve seen lying about, it’s even inspired her own drawings and writing!

All in all, it makes for another thrilling yarn, and the story’s not over yet.  Hayley, for one, is certainly keen to see the fifth part of the story, and even if Do is working on several other ideas (such as the E-Boy, Rise of the Mythix and Skydragon series), I’m sure Wolf Girl 5 can’t be too far away.  Consider this a gentle nudge to the writer on behalf of my little helper 😉

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