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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles) Paperback – October 1, 1987

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Series: Wolves Chronicles
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (October 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440496039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440496038
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A masterpiece...a copybook lesson in those virtues that a classic children's book must possess."--Time.

From the Publisher

In this chilling beginning to The Wolves Chronicles, two little cousins are left in the care of an evil governess. They escape and travel 400 miles to London with their friend Simon and his geese.

"A masterpiece...a copybook lesson in those virtues that a classic children's book must possess."--Time.

Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.

More About the Author

Joan Aiken (1924-2004) daughter of Pulitzer prize winning poet Conrad Aiken started writing herself from the age of five. During her lifetime she published over one hundred books for children and adults, including the acclaimed Wolves of Willoughby Chase series. In the UK she received an MBE from the Queen for her services to Children's Literature.

Follow Joan Aiken on and on Twitter at
Read backstories, news and more on the official Joan Aiken blog at:

Following the 50th ANNIVERSARY of Joan's much loved first book in the Wolves Chronicles Series - 'THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE' famously hailed as 'One Genuine Small Masterpiece' by Time Magazine - look out for brand new editions and award winning AUDIO read by Joan's daughter Lizza Aiken

Visit "The Wonderful World of Joan Aiken" at

Customer Reviews

I suggest that an adult read yhe book to the children..
John D. Grady
Instead, it's an interesting story that contains just enough danger to make the plot interesting without scaring younger kid readers too much.
E. R. Bird
When I first read this book I was ten or eleven...I recommended it to my then best friend, and she too loved it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 89 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
"The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" is the first book in the "Wolves" Saga by Joan Aiken, a series of books set in an alternative 18th century England in the reign of King James III. In this altered history a large number of wolves migrate from the bitter cold of Europe and Russia into Britain via the Channel Tunnel, and terrorise the inhabitants in their continuing hunting.
The story is set at Willoughby Chase, the grand home of Lord Willoughby and Lady Green and their daughter Bonnie. Due to Lady Green's wasting illness, Bonnie's parents are taking a holiday in warmer climates and leaving her in the care of the Lord's newly-arrived distant cousin Letitia Slighcarp. Also due to arrive is Bonnie's orphan cousin Sylvia who lived in London with Lord Willoughby's poorer sister Aunt Jane, coming to keep her cousin company in her parent's absence. Sylvia is nervous about the train ride into the vast and wolf-ridden countryside, but the cousins become instant friends on her arrival, with an entire life of playing, skating and adventures together.
Yet the blissful life is not to last. In her parent's absence, Mrs Slighcarp takes over the household, dismissing the household servents, wearing Lady Green's gowns, and tampering with Lord Willoughby's legal papers with the help of Mr Grimshaw, the man who was supposedly knocked unconscious on Sylvia's train and taken into the care of Willoughby Chase. Despite the best efforts of James the clever footman, Pattern the girl's beloved maid and Simon, the goose-boy living half wild in the woods, the girl's plans to fetch back their parents goes astray, and Mrs Slighcarp sends them to a dismal orphanage after the news that Bonnie's parents have died.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a younger child. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was one of her picks.
We discovered this wonderful book through a school assignment. It is not a book that I would have expected that our daughter would have liked because the young heroines face terrible trials. She found the book very exciting and rewarding though, and I think you will, too.
Bonnie Green has lived in the lap of luxury in the manor house of Willoughby Chase in the English countryside. Her father, Sir Willoughby, is the richest man for five counties. She has all the toys, clothes, and ponies that anyone could want, and indulgent parents who encourage her to try things out. There is much love in the house, both from her parents and the dedicated household workers.
Because Bonnie's mother, Lady Sophia, has become ill, her parents are about to leave on a sea voyage to restore her health. Sir Willoughby has asked his attorney, Mr. Gripe, to locate a suitable governess and he recommends one who is a fourth cousin once removed of Bonnie's, Miss Slighcarp, who arrives the night before the parents leave.
To keep Bonnie company, Sir Willoughby has also invited Bonnie's cousin Sylvia to stay.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is great! Sylvia goes to live with her cousin Bonnie and they both are treated badly when Bonnie's parents go away on a sea trip by their governess. They are taken to an orphanage when the governess (Miss Slighcarp) starts her plans to take over Willoughby Chase and doesn't have time for them. They escape from the orphange with a little help from their friend, Simon and make their way to London, where they find Sylvia's Aunt Jane. Buy this book or pick it up from the library to find out what happens next. I recommend it to people who like adventures where girls are the heroes, and well-written stories. Joan Aiken's books have girls as the heroes in all of her books that I have read so far. They are really adventurous. DO NOT judge the book before it is finished, because sometimes the most unexpected endings occur. Read this book!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Winney on July 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase through the 1989 British-made film of the same name starring Stephanie Beacham (Miss Slighcarp), Mel Smith (Mr. Grimshaw), Emily Hudson (Bonnie), and Aleks Darowska (Sylvia). The film is superb and it is a shame that it is currently out of print almost everywhere (I had to order a poorly recorded VHS version from Canada in order to get a copy of it). I had never heard of the book or its author, Joan Aiken, before I saw the film. The book is even better than the film and should delight anyone who finds stories involving children, wolves, mansions, and evil governesses entertaining. Both the book and the film were childhood favorites of mine and I love them as much today as I did then. Upon purchasing the other five books in Joan Aiken's Wolves Chronicles (Blackhearts in Battersea, Nightbirds on Nantucket, The Cuckoo Tree, The Stolen Lake, and Dido and Pa), I was disappointed to learn that the other five books focus on the increasingly unwieldy adventures of Dido Twite, a character introduced in the second book. Bonnie and Sylvia Greene are never mentioned again. It is as if the last five books are a series and the first book stands alone as a separate story (the only element that links TWOWC to the other books is Simon, a character who appears again in the second book). I found this incongruency rather odd and irritating, but I'm sure that Dido Twite has her fans. Just don't read the other books expecting to hear more about Bonnie, Sylvia, and Willoughby Chase. TWOWC is truly a lone ranger.
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