Today I’m back with another book tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. Like I’ve said a lot lately, I’ve really been loving middle grade books. The Boy, the Wolf and the Stars sounded like another fun adventure and it has a stunning cover!
A big thanks to the publisher for providing me with an e-arc to read and review.
The Boy, the Wolf and the Stars by Shivaun Plozza
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publishing Date: November, 17, 2020
A boy and his pet fox go on a quest to find a wolf who has eaten all the stars in the sky before the Shadow Witch destroys the stars and removes good magic from the world forever.
Long ago, the land of Ulv was filled with magic. But that was before a wolf ate all the Stars in the night sky, ridding the world of magic and allowing Shadow Creatures, beasts made of shadow and evil, to flourish. Twelve-year-old Bo knows the stories but thinks the Stars and the wolf who ate them are nothing more than myths—until the day Bo’s guardian, Mads, is attacked by a giant wolf straight from the legends. With his dying breath, Mads tells Bo that Ulv is in danger and the only way to prevent the Shadow Creatures from taking over is to return the Stars to the sky.
And so Bo—accompanied by his best friend, a fox called Nix, a girl named Selene who’s magic is tied to the return of the Stars, and Tam, a bird-woman who has vowed to protect Bo at all costs—sets off on a quest to find the three magical keys that will release the Stars. But Bo isn’t the only one who wants the Stars, and the friends soon find themselves fleeing angry villagers, greedy merchants, and a vengeful wolf. And all the while, an evil witch lurks in the shadows and time is running out.
“See, little Irin? That is what I mean: forgiveness is a tricky thing. It is a wonderful gift, to forgive or to be forgiven. But it must be earned and it cannot be forced. Very, very tricky.”
The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is definitely a middle grade story that took me by surprise and in a good way. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down. Bo’s story sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go until the very end.
This book deals with a lot of heavier subjects, but in a way for this age group to understand without making it childish. Themes like grief, abandonment, greed and forgiveness are talked about during Bo’s adventures. The characters Bo meet along the way help support these themes and make Bo understand them more. I loved the cast of characters in this story, even if Nix will always be my favorite. There’s definitely a soft spot in my heart for him.
“But you will not know unless you try, and there is a power in trying even when you know you might fail.”
The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is an emotional read. I actually had tears in my eyes near the end. That doesn’t happen often when I read middle grade books. Shivaun Plozza definitely had me bonding with these characters and I could feel the emotions they were feeling. Besides the heavier emotions in this book, there is a magical adventure with myths and fairytales. My favorite of that being chapters of The True Histories of Ule. These little excerpts are more lighthearted and even have some sarcasm hidden in their stories. I saw it as a great addition in this book.
As I said, grief is a bigger part of the story and I do want people to be aware of this. It could be a hard book to read for children and even adults dealing with their own loss (human or animal). I would really highly recommend this adventure though. The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is a book I won’t be forgetting anytime soon!
A lot of other amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers are participating in this tour. If you want to see their posts, click here to see the full tour schedule.
About the Author
Shivaun Plozza is an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. Her debut novel, Frankie, was a CBCA Notable Book and won a number of awards, including the Davitt Awards and a commendation from the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her second novel, Tin Heart, sold in three foreign territories, received two starred reviews, and was nominated to ALA’S Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Her debut middle-grade novel, The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars, is forthcoming in 2020 from HMH Books for Young Readers and Penguin Random House Australia. She is a frequent contributor to anthologies, and when she is not writing she works as an editor and manuscript assessor.