Growing up can be full of things you have to learn yourself even when you are surrounded by a family of hard-working, loving, knitted together parents, brothers, dogs, grandparents, cows and so on. That love is an awesome place to land but it doesn't figure things out for you..sometimes you just have to do it yourself.
Annabelle is about to go through one of those times when something shows up that confuses and confounds. She wants very much to make sense of it before she goes on with her life. It all starts pretty much when Annabelle gets struck by lightning. She was out in a storm and she didn't make it home in time. The lightning hit and Annabelle went down and out...waaay out....and when she did start to wake up she could feel someone pounding on her chest and a rough hand going across her cheek.
Who on earth was out there in that storm? Who was it who stopped in the middle of thunder and lightning to save Annabelle's life? The whole family would like the answer to that question but like a lot of moments in life this one is takes Annabelle to a place where she doesn't know what's true. Annabelle pretty much thinks she knows all she needs to know about that neighbor boy named Andy. He's the one who strung the wired across the path that was destined for darkness. Enough said.
But a few stray dogs brought in out of the rain, a new neighbor named Nora who is home to heal from loss, and the memory of a rough hand against her cheek are going to touch Annabelle deeply. They're going to push against how she decides to take the measure of someone. They are going to make her notice there might be more to Andy than she saw before.
Do we really know all we need to know about each other? Can we tell the bad people from the good people just by the way they smile and what they are wearing?
Wolf Hollow is home to a remarkable family that is knitted together with love, caring, kindness, and truth. Annabelle and her brothers and their parents, their aunt, their grandparents, their dogs and their cows pull together each day on their farm and create a special place where respect for others is the norm and loved is doled out just like the slices of strawberry pie that top off dinner - big slices and plenty to go around. It's a family life we dream of.
Back at home tucked into her own safe world Annabelle realizes she has changed on the inside. Her awareness of the details of life and especially of dogs have suddenly become magnified for her. She understands animals now at a level she never knew existed. It's a gift and it has come to her through a bolt of lightning.
The same storm brought more changes to her community. It brought a smiling man, Mr. Graf, to their front door in search of his dog. It brought a chance meeting with the neighbor, Nora, next door who lives very privately and doesn't want anyone to know about the dogs they are rescuing there. It brought Annabelle to cross paths with Andy - the same Andy who stretched the wire across the path endangering lives in WOLF HOLLOW.
Annabelle has some things to think about. How can she know, really know, what kind of person Andy is? Can he be trusted? Is he made of goodness or not? How do you really know who someone is? Can you forgive someone's mistake?
This is a journey of the heart that takes us through the pain of someone else's life and shows us that what people show us isn't even half of who they really are. Powerful lightning indeed.
320 pages 978052555599 Ages 10 and up
Keywords: coming of age, sequel, family, understanding others, child abuse dogs, animal rescue, mistakes, forgiveness, friendship, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old
Sequel to WOLF HOLLOW
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com