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The Children and the Wolves Hardcover – February 28, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Readers should know the kind of grueling, soulful, gut-punching work to expect from Rapp. Still, be warned: this is his most hellish - and hellishly readable - vision yet...he's also creating, book by book, a vital library of the furies and hopes of a forgotten underclass, and always in their own confused, desperate, and endlessly resourceful voices...few YA authors are so consistently lauded. Multiple copies may be required.
—Booklist (starred review)

Rapp's poetic use of language makes for a brutally beautiful read... The author continues to push the boundaries of fiction for teens by providing an unrelentingly real and intensely powerful voice for the disenfranchised youth who dangle on society's edge, forgotten until they commit random acts of violence because they have been shown no other way. Hard to read, impossible to forget.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About the Author

Adam Rapp is the acclaimed author of Punkzilla, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Under the Wolf, Under the Dog, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist and winner of the Schneider Family Book Award; and 33 Snowfish, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. He is also an accomplished playwright, a writer for Season Three of the HBO series In Treatment, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama in 2007. Adam Rapp lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763653373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763653378
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,522,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Kristin Anderson on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There are books out there that don't so much entertain the reader as hit the reader over the head. THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES is one of these books. Told in multiple perspectives, it's the story of three troubled teens and the little girl that they've kidnapped.

Yes, you read that right. Teenage kidnappers. Most of the characters in this novel are middle school age.

And yet, you feel for these kids. You want them to grow, to do the right thing, to get what they want in life. You want Bounce to maybe not be a sociopath and to find a way to deal with her wealthy, neglectful parents. You want Orange to find a way to help his dad or at the very least help himself. And you want Wiggins to overcome his situation at home, stand up to his friends, and to let the little girl go. He takes care of her, he brings her food, lets her play her video game. But he knows it's not right. Wiggins is the hero of this book as well as one of the villains. And with Adam Rapp's lyric style, his voice is so honest, so real. As are his cohorts. And, hauntingly, the voice of The Frog -- as they've dubbed the little girl -- is just as distinct.

THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES is a beautiful book about horrible things. It's a story that maybe shouldn't work, but Adam Rapp makes it happen. I hope you're intrigued enough to check the book out for yourself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Adam Rapp's THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES is not necessarily the kind of book you want to cuddle up with over a steaming mug of hot chocolate. In fact, some scenes might cause readers to lose their appetites entirely. There is absolutely nothing cozy or comfortable about this book.

But that's kind of the point. Adam Rapp sets out in his latest novel --- as he did in his groundbreaking and award-winning 33 SNOWFISH --- to deliberately shake up readers, to show them scenes and images and a kind of life that is both foreign and, in fact, invisible to most of them. In THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES, he does so via four haunting and distinct voices, in language that is as lyrical and lovely as it can be brutal and obscene.

At the center of the novel is Wiggins, a 13-year-old boy who, like his friend Orange, has been drawn almost without realizing it into the hyper-magnetic orbit of a slightly older girl known as Bounce. Bounce, a freakishly (and often cruelly) intelligent girl, has ready access to the pharmaceuticals her parents travel the world promoting, even if she has virtually no access --- physically or certainly emotionally --- to her parents themselves.

If Bounce finds any joy in love (and that's certainly questionable), it would be the pleasure of having these two "chuckleheads," as she calls them, follow her every order, no matter how bizarre or how extreme. Before the novel opens, for example, Bounce has convinced Wiggins and Orange to kidnap a three-year-old girl they nickname Frog. The kids then go door-to-door in their town, collecting spare change (and the odd $20 bill) to aid in the campaign to find the little girl. In reality, Bounce has far darker intentions for the money they collect.

Why do Wiggins and Orange follow Bounce so unquestioningly?
Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Azul on July 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Told in the voices of the three main characters, Rapp speaks the minds of "Bounce," a smart but spoiled rich (and bored) girl and her two "monkeys" - low class nobodies who follow her and do whatever Bounces says.

Just because, Bounces decides to kidnap a little girl - Frog, and make money from it. She also feels like killing a poet who visits her class and pisses her off. Needles to say, her two friends are in just because they have nothing better to do.
The book is at some point scary and made stop to think about the repercussions of either having too much money, or having nothing at all.

Because the book is short, Rapp really didn't get into deep details about the characters, however, they are developed well enough for you to understand them and get a sense of what their lives is like. The dialogue and scenes are engaging and I finished the book in three hours.

The end is not exactly what I expected. As with all books you see some kind of redemption coming on but this wasn't what I had in mind. I hate when books leave me hanging like that! But I guess that is part of what makes a good book.

"The children and the wolves" is an easy read that, I not only enjoyed, but like "Living dead girl", will stay in my mind forever.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meaghan on June 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Curiously enough, this is the second book Adam Rapp has written about a trio of incredibly dysfunctional, drugged-out young people who have kidnapped a small child. (The first was 33 Snowfish.) Both books are incredibly bleak with semi-hopeful endings. Of the two, however, I preferred the first. I couldn't decide which one I pitied the most, but I had a very hard time connecting to any of the characters in The Children and the Wolves. Perhaps if the book had been longer and I got to know them, it would have been different -- but then again, 33 Snowfish isn't that much longer. I would still recommend this book but it's not one of Adam Rapp's best.
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