The Wolf Twins by Ewa Jozefkowicz – at a glance
The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Conservation, Understanding, Family Relations, Bullying.
Children’s book title: The Wolf Twins.
Children’s author: Ewa Jozefkowicz.
Children’s illustrator: Katy Riddell.
Genre: Children’s fiction.
Published by: Zephyr Books.
Recommended for children aged: 9+ year-olds.
First published: Paperback September 2023.
This children’s book is ideal for: Helping to discuss the different views on conservation and the misunderstandings regarding some animals and their reputations.
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Lucy and Alpha are twelve-year-old twins, who live with their mother and grandfather, known as Gra, in the forest close to their mum’s new job. Alpha can’t believe they’ve had to move away from everything and everyone they knew, their friends, the only home they’d ever lived in, and her school basketball team! Lucy however, is delighted and, as she isn’t going to school at the moment, has her lessons with Gra every day instead.
When the girls get the chance to visit Mum’s rewilding centre, Lucy finds herself strangely drawn to the frightened wolf cub they have come to see and with whom it seems she has a special connection. The move has meant relationships are beginning to suffer and life gets even more complicated when the young cub disappears. Can they work together to find him or will their new normal mean everything has already changed forever?
This is a gentle look at relevant and relatable middle school issues and how they can at least be improved. The author is the mother of twin girls and understands the dynamics involved in raising two completely different siblings who may or may not look identical. The stresses of everyday life for both the girls and their mum are expertly and sensitively dealt with and I was willing them all to succeed from the start.
I enjoyed the differences of opinion between Lucy and Alpha which showed how, even with an identical upbringing, life is different for all of us. Our and their ways of handling problems all of which crop up regularly in our lives prove there is no universally accepted way of problem solving which is shown brilliantly here.
There is an emphasis on the different viewpoints regarding conservation and how best to achieve plans which meet most people’s approval. The use of the wolf in this story is an excellent example as most of us love dogs, but how many of us want to live in the same neighbourhood as their close relations?
The above storyline fits neatly alongside the changing relationship between the twins. Their school experiences are completely different with Lucy becoming a school refuser while Alpha is the up-and-coming star of the basketball team. The solution to their problems seemed realistic to me.
This book will also give readers on the outside looking in an understanding of what it’s like to be a twin, especially when your sibling looks exactly like you!
In PSHE and class reading The Wolf Twins would be a useful text to highlight the variety of effects school can have on pupils whether they strive or struggle. It would also appeal, I think, to twins or those with siblings very close in age as it explores the almost telepathic links as well as the gulf which can exist between them.
Many thanks to Zephyr Books for the review copy.
If you like The Wolf Twins by Ewa Jozefkowicze you might also like: One Chance Dance by Efua Traoré, Nowhere Island by Tania Unsworth, Last Girl In by Cheryl Diane Parkinson, My Family and Other Romans by Marie Basting and Antigua de Fortune of the High Seas by Anna Rainbow and Oli Hyatt.
Browse our list of books for year 6.