Y’all will never guess who’s back with *another* post for y’all… Now don’t go getting spoiled on me…I’m still terrible at posting on the regular. Today’s book is a Middle Grade, so it’s perfect for you or any littles you may have running around the house too!
The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar. Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!Meanwhile, a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking the witch’s help, and when she meets Zima (in Baba Yaga’s form), they discover that they face a common enemy. With danger closing in, Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that threatens them all.
Wolf was so cute and such a fun read! This book does feature multiple POVs, so if that’s something you or your kiddo have a bit of trouble with, I’d suggest using post-it flags on the first page of each separate perspective, with each perspective having its own color. That way you see green and know it’s the wolves, etc.
Zima is out main wolf we see the world through. She’s the second oldest wolf in her pack (so she’s sort of the “Beta”) but because she’s a girl and not the Alpha, it seems like no one really listens to her. She is strong and brave, but also more of a flighter than a fighter.
Nadya. Our sweet human bean. She’s adventurous, always getting into trouble, and currently attempting to map out the forest. She and Zima bump into each other on like page 5, and the whole course of the story is changed from their interaction.
Baba Yaga. The witch hag. Baba Yaga, contrary to what I’d thought, is not a hard, but decent old lady who lives in a bath house and gives Chihiro a job (Spirited Away, 2001 film), she’s actually a terrible witch who get around by riding in a giant mortar and pestle and is losing her ability to magic correctly because she’s getting old.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The author has Russian heritage, and you can see how that is written into the work from the name of some characters : Tsar (a Russian title for the king) Aleksander to Nadya and Katerina, to the harsh, seemingly always winter climate our story takes place in. There are cute illustrations sprinkled throughout the chapters that help to add to the words you’ve just read.
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book has in no way affected my opinion of this work. A Wolf for a Spell Is Sutton’s debut work, and was released on December 1st from Alfred A. Knopf Book for Children.
Karah Sutton has loved Baba Yaga, ballet, and blini ever since she had to do a research project on her Russian heritage in the third grade. Her hunger for adventure inspired her to move from Kentucky to New Zealand, where it was rumored she would find talking trees and the occasional wood elf. Karah spent four years as a bookseller before she turned to writing her own fiction. A Wolf For a A Spell is her debut work. You can find Karah on the web at karahsutton.com or on Instagram at karahdactylauthor.