‘Wolf Girl 6: Animal Train’ by Anh Do (Review)

Well, even German Literature Month wasn’t enough to keep my little helper, Hayley, from talking about her books, and it was only my own plans that kept her from getting another review out in November.  However, December’s here, and so is another book by her favourite writer, so once again it’s time for me to hand the microphone over to my daughter so that she can tell you all about the latest instalment in a rapidly growing series.  Yes, we’re running with the pack again today, and while opting for rail for the next leg of our journey may sound comforting, in truth, it’s anything but.  You see, this is no ordinary train, as we’re about to find out…

What’s the name of the book, and who is it by?
The book is called Wolf Girl 6: Animal Train, and it’s written by Anh Do and illustrated by Lachlan Creagh (review copy from Allen & Unwin).

What’s it about?
After Gwen goes on a ship, in this book she and her pack go on a train so that they can get to the town of Tunny.  However, they also find animals trapped in cages, and Gwen wants to set them free!

Did you like it?  Why (not)?
Yes, especially at the end, because it was very, very chaotic.  I also liked how she decided to rescue all the animals.

What was your favourite part?
At the end, when there is a big animal showdown!

Was it difficult to read?
No, because it had big writing and lots of exciting pictures.

Would you recommend this book to other boys and girls?  Why (not)?
Of course, because it’s very exciting and entertaining, and it has lots of animals!

Hayley, thank you very much 🙂

When I first saw that the next part of the Wolf Girl series was called Animal Train, I knew that my little helper would be thrilled to read it.  You see, as well as being an avid reader, Hayley’s fascinated with animals, and for a while now her ambition has been to become an ‘animal rescuer’ – although I’m not sure there’s much call for that particular profession on the outskirts of Melbourne…  In any case, she sensibly waited for the weekend so that she could give the book her full attention, and then she gobbled it up in a couple of days, and had great fun doing so!

In Animal Train, Gwen and the pack are on the move again, this time without a couple of their friends, and after a brief stop to help a family they find hiding from soldiers, they decide to hitch a ride on a train headed north to save themselves a lot of time.  Little do they know that this is no ordinary train, and that they’ll be making a stop to bring some unexpected passengers on board:

There were animals of every shape and size, in cages, tanks and crates.
I saw live crocodiles with their jaws and limbs tied, carried on stretchers.  An enraged wildcat threw herself against the bars of her cage as soldiers used carrying poles to keep out of harm’s way.
p.107 (Allen & Unwin, 2021)

As it turns out, this particular train is being used to transport new specimens for the collections of the army generals, and once Gwen and her canine companions discover this fact, there’s a slight change of plan.  Before they head off to their destination, they’re determined to free all the creatures on the train, whether they have wings, scales or fur…

Animal Train is a thrilling addition to the series, and I could see why Hayley was so taken with it.  There are new foes for the pack to face, and more than a few end-of-chapter cliff-hangers, too.  What makes it all even better is the realisation that among the creatures on the train, there are some that the pack have met before – which makes the friends even more determined to spoil the soldiers’ fun!

As an added bonus, once the main adventure is resolved, there’s another sealed section, with a new chapter continuing the story started in the extra section of Wolf Girl 5: Across the Sea.  Gwen and her mysterious rescuer swap stories before being forced to flee when soldiers discover their hidey-hole.  However, surrounded on all sides, will they manage to escape?

Hayley’s already looking forward to Book 7, even if I doubt it could live up to the excitement of this one.  A kid hijacking a train full of animals and attempting to pull off a great escape?  It’s going to take something special to follow that – over to you, Mr. Do 😉

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