Wounded

I discovered Wounded through an Amazon search for werewolves in the teen book section. It is included in order to provide a wider range of titles included for the paranormal genre, as it is about werewolves, was written more than five years ago, and is a very dark book.

Series Title: The Wereling
Author: Stephen Cole
ISBN-10: 1595140417 ISBN-13: 9781595140418
City and Publisher: New York: Razorbill
Copyright Date: 2005
Author’s Website: http://www.wereling.com/home.asp

Reader’s Advisory: Tom Anderson’s normal family vacation takes a strange turn when he sees a malevolent beast in the forest. When he wakes up in the strange house of a strange family with an even stranger daughter, he learns there is more to the world than what most people think.

Plot Summary: Tom Anderson is a sixteen year old boy dragged along on a family vacation. His solo excursion into the woods leaves him wounded at the Folan house, where he is locked in every night. He discovers the family has a monstrous secret, and helps their oldest daughter Kate (who is seventeen) escape. Their flight across the country is full of danger. They must fight and escape members of a secret clannish group and defeat the apocalyptic plotting of Papa Takapa, a man with a maniacal vision.

Critical Evaluation: Wounded is very fast paced. Fight, flight, and general adventure run through every chapter. The world of the werewolves is brutal. They hunger for meat and set up their daughters for rape. A fledging romance between Tom and Kate never quite bubbles to the surface. Tom and Kate are the most developed characters, but most of the others are like cardboard monsters, scary but lacking fleshy truth.

Reading Level/Interest Age: 16 and up
Curriculum Ties: Wounded is a great pleasure read.
Booktalking Ideas: Talk about how brutal the werewolf culture is. Explain that Wounded describes the plight of two teenagers who must flee for their lives.

Genre: Paranormal
Beasties and Supernatural Elements: Werewolves, Magic, Voodoo
Influences from Other Genres: Horror, Suspense

Challenge Issues:
The culture of werewolves is brutal and violent. Kate’s mother is a psychopath, and has plans to arrange her daughter’s rape. These dark themes are not pleasant, but teens may also have violent or brutal people in their lives. Tom and Kate are frightened but manage to escape, and learn to lean on each other for strength.

About the Author: Stephen Cole is a prolific writer; he is the author of the children’s series The Astrosaurs, numerous books in the Doctor Who series, many stand alone novels, and several non-fiction guides to popular movies and TV series. He has worked as a managing editor for both the BBC and Ladybird books, and founded his own company, Rocket Editorial Ltd, in 2002. (Detailed bibliography at http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/stephen-cole/ and more biographical details at http://www.wereling.com/frameman.asp)

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