St. Martin’s/Wednesday Bks. (Wolves of No World: Bk. 1). Aug. 2020. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250239129.
Gr 7 Up–Manuela and her mother are undocumented, living in the United States and doing their best to stay under the radar of immigration authorities. But Manu is not a typical teenager. Once a month, her mother keeps her heavily sedated for three days during her menstrual cycle, or at least that’s what Manu assumes is responsible for her debilitating nightmares and unbearable pain. In actuality, Manu is not completely human. Half of her heritage comes from her father, a werewolf with a criminal past and ties to an Argentine mob family. Manu describes herself as a “Thing. Hybrid. Freakish. Hunted down and destroyed. I am illegal.” It’s only when she is invited to join a supernatural academy in the middle of the Everglades that she discovers who she really is and begins to make friends, fall in love, and learn to embrace the werewolf (or lobizona) part of her heritage.
VERDICT Following “Harry Potter,” a number of authors have tackled the idea of magical schools for unusually gifted children. It would be easy enough to toss this book into that ever-growing pile, but ties to current events make this both relatable and timely. Recommended.
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