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About Lauren Wolk
People asked when I became a writer. My answer: October 28, 1959. The day I was born. People ask how long it took me to write Wolf Hollow or Beyond the Bright Sea. I say: my whole life. My work is a result of everything I’ve ever experienced. The same is true of my visual art and poetry. Art may be triggered by a moment of inspiration or epiphany, but it arises from a lifetime of observations, ideas, imagination, and skills honed by practice, practice, and more practice.
I’ve had quite a few jobs in my life, all of which involved writing and all of which made me a better writer.
After graduating from Brown University with a degree in English literature, I worked at the St. Paul American Indian Center, writing a book on how best to assist battered women in the Native American community. I then worked as a senior editor with an educational publisher in Toronto before starting a family and a business as a freelance writer and editor in 1988. In 1999, Random House published my first novel, Those Who Favor Fire. In 2000, I became a full-time, certified English teacher at Sturgis Charter School in Hyannis, working there for four years before leaving to become Assistant Director at the Cape Cod Writers Center and to write my second novel, Forgiving Billy, which was twice nominated for the Pushcart Editor’s Book Award and which won the 2006 Hackney Literary Award. I became Associate Director of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in 2007, which was when I became increasingly involved in creating visual art, eventually receiving invitations to participate in various exhibits and to show my work at the Larkin Gallery in Provincetown and the Post Office Gallery in North Truro. In 2016, Dutton published my novel Wolf Hollow, which I had written for a general audience but which is known primarily as a book for young readers (“ages 10 and up”). It was named a 2016 New England Book Award winner, a 2017 Newbery Honor Book, and a 2017 Jane Addams Honor Book and was shortlisted for the 2017 New York Historical Society Children’s Book Prize, the 2017 Waterstones Book Prize, the 2017 Carnegie Medal, and other awards. In May 2017, Dutton published Beyond the Bright Sea, also for ages 10 and up.
I come from a long line of farmers and love the natural world, which enabled me to write Wolf Hollow, which is about a girl named Annabelle coming of age on a small farm in 1943. Likewise, the decades I’ve spent near the ocean inspired my new book, about a girl growing up on the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Cape Cod, where I live.
I have a wonderful time visiting with children and other readers to talk about my work and to answer their questions. They are all unfailingly smart, perceptive, and supportive.
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Titles By Lauren Wolk
From the bestselling author of Echo Mountain and Newbery Honor–winner Wolf Hollow, Beyond the Bright Sea is an acclaimed best book of the year.
An NPR Best Book of the Year • A Parents’ Magazine Best Book of the Year • A Booklist Editors' Choice selection • A BookPage Best Book of the Year • A Horn Book Fanfare Selection • A Kirkus Best Book of the Year • A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year • A Charlotte Observer Best Book of the Year • A Southern Living Best Book of the Year • A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
“The sight of a campfire on a distant island…proves the catalyst for a series of discoveries and events—some poignant, some frightening—that Ms. Wolk unfolds with uncommon grace.” –The Wall Street Journal
★ “Crow is a determined and dynamic heroine.” —Publishers Weekly
★ “Beautiful, evocative.” —Kirkus
The moving story of an orphan, determined to know her own history, who discovers the true meaning of family.
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.
Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.
Vivid and heart-wrenching, Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Sea is a gorgeously crafted and tensely paced tale that explores questions of identity, belonging, and the true meaning of family.
New York Times Bestseller
“Wolf Hollow has stayed with me long after I closed the book. It has the feel of an instant classic." —Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author of A Long Walk to Water
“This book matters.” —Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of Pax
Despite growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and though her bullying seems isolated at first, it quickly escalates. Toby, a reclusive World War I veteran, soon becomes the target of Betty’s attacks. While others see Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. And as tensions mount in their small community, Annabelle must find the courage to stand as a lone voice for justice.
The brilliantly crafted debut of Newbery Honor– and Scott O'Dell Award–winning author Lauren Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea, Echo Mountain), Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of history.
★ “A powerful story to electrify the soul.” –Booklist, starred review
It’s been several months since the tragic events set in motion by bully Betty Glengarry, and the routine of daily life in Wolf Hollow has slowly returned. But for Annabelle McBride it’s hard to move forward and make peace with what feels like threadbare justice.
Newly warm summer days are about to bring a jolt of change on the winds of a powerful storm. In its wake, the search for her brother’s missing dog will set Annabelle on a new path that brings her to unfamiliar doorsteps and reunites her with a too-familiar adversary—Andy Woodberry, who was complicit in Betty’s most terrible acts. Growing up and blazing her own trail will soon force Annabelle to reexamine deeply felt truths—about people, about justice, about herself—that had once seemed so uncomplicated.
Bestselling author Lauren Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea, Echo Mountain) returns to World War II–era Western Pennsylvania in this luminous sequel to her Newbery Honor–winning debut, Wolf Hollow, proving once again why her acclaimed novels have been celebrated as “historical fiction at its finest.”
“There has never been a better time to read about healing, of both the body and the heart.” –The New York Times Book Review
Echo Mountain is an acclaimed best book of 2020!
An NPR Best Book of the Year • A Horn Book Fanfare Selection • A Kirkus Best Book of the Year • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year • A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year • A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year
After losing almost everything in the Great Depression, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.
Ellie is a girl who takes matters into her own hands, and determined to help her father she will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal.
Historical fiction at its finest, Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Lauren Wolk, the Newbery Honor– and Scott O'Dell Award–winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea, weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families.
“Soothing and exquisitely written.” –People
“This is a book that will soothe readers like a healing balm.” –The Wall Street Journal
“Brilliant.” –Lynda Mullaly Hunt, bestselling author of Fish in a Tree
Those Who Favor Fire is the love story of Rachel Hearn, who has lived in Belle Haven all her life, and the man everyone calls Just Joe, who has arrived only recently--and the story of their love for the town that has brought them together. But as the fire intensi-
fies, endangering Belle Haven and its people, it also threatens what Joe and Rachel have found together. Though some reluctantly consider relocating, Rachel refuses to leave the only place she's ever called home, the place that holds her richest memories. But Joe knows the danger of becoming too firmly rooted in a place. Ultimately, Rachel and Joe must decide whether to abandon their beloved town.
In her wonderful debut novel, Lauren Wolk has created a town every bit as real as the Mitford of Jan Karon's novels and populated it with characters as quirky, lively, and endearing as Fannie Flagg's.
«Un balsamo per ogni lettore.»
The Wall Street Journal
«Non c'è stato mai momento più opportuno per leggere di una guarigione, del corpo e del cuore.»
The New York Times
Maine, 1934. Da quando si è trasferita con la sua famiglia nel territorio incontaminato e selvaggio attorno a Echo Mountain, Ellie è diventata una ragazza dei boschi. Adora il rapporto diretto e paritario con la natura che in città non poteva avere, e la vitalità di ogni elemento le risuona dentro come un’eco di libertà e appartenenza a qualcosa di più grande. Lo sa anche il misterioso intagliatore che dissemina nel bosco piccole statuine di legno che sembrano fatte apposta per lei. Quando però il padre cade in coma per un incidente, tutto sembra crollarle addosso. Ma sarà di nuovo alla voce della montagna che Ellie darà ascolto, andando a cercare la vecchia strega che custodisce i segreti della guarigione. Scoprirà così che dietro all’intagliatore e alla strega non ci sono misteri né magie, ma persone e storie che l’aiuteranno a capire che ognuno deve saper scegliere la propria strada, anche se sembra quella meno battuta. Torna la scrittura lirica e potente della Wolk, maestra nel regalarci personaggi disposti a sfidare le proprie certezze pur di trovare la parte più vera e profonda di sé.
«Crow è un’eroina forte e determinata, intelligente e tenace, che riuscirà a ricostruire il puzzle del suo passato e a ridare significato alla definizione di famiglia. »
«A volte le cose le sai. Non le impari. Non le trovi. Non le scopri. Le sai già. Qualunque cosa ti dicano gli altri».
Quando aveva poche ore di vita, Crow fu ritrovata in una vecchia barca che nella notte si era arenata sulla spiaggia: questa è la storia che le racconta Osh, il pittore, come una favola della buona notte.
Per dodici anni Crow ha vissuto con lui su un’isoletta circondata dal mare e dal cielo, come sotto un incantesimo selvaggio e felice, accudita dal ruvido affetto della signorina Maggie. Ma le mani di Osh e della signorina Maggie sono le uniche che l’abbiano mai toccata: sembra che gli altri abitanti stiano alla larga da lei, come se ne avessero paura. Perché? Cosa si nasconde dietro le sue origini?
Una notte in cui vede divampare un misterioso fuoco nell’isola di fronte, Crow decide di scoprirlo, cominciando una ricerca che la porterà su sentieri assai più pericolosi del previsto, che sfideranno la sua identità e il suo senso di appartenenza, ma che le riveleranno cos’è davvero una famiglia.
Dopo il grande successo dell’Anno in cui imparai a raccontare storie, torna la scrittura vivida e luminosa di Lauren Wolk, una storia sul coraggio di crescere, di affrontare se stessi e le proprie paure per scoprire quello a cui si tiene di più.
Come Il buio oltre la siepe, a cui è stato paragonato da tutti i critici che l’hanno recensito, questo libro è la sintesi perfetta di avventura, suspense, impegno civile. Ambientato nel 1943, all’ombra delle due guerre, è il racconto di una ragazzina alle prese con situazioni difficili ma vitali: una nuova compagna di classe prepotente e violenta, un incidente gravissimo e un’accusa indegna contro un uomo innocente. Annabelle imparerà a mentire e a dire la verità, perché le decisioni giuste non sono mai facili e non possiamo controllare il nostro destino e quello delle persone che ci sono vicine, a prescindere da quanto ci impegniamo. Imparerà che il senso della giustizia, così vivo quando si è bambini, crescendo va difeso dalla paura, protetto dal dolore, coltivato in ogni gesto di umanità.
Una scrittura nitida e coinvolgente dà voce a una delle protagoniste più forti della letteratura contemporanea e terrà incollati alle pagine sia i ragazzi che gli adulti. L’anno in cui imparai a raccontare storie è già un classico.