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The Mad Wolf's Daughter
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Mad Wolf's Daughter, by first-time author Diane Magras, features an irresistible, sword-brandishing 12-year-old heroine in medieval Scotland who has to use all her courage and wits trying to save her warrior family from death at the hands of a cruel lord. And, along the way, a few other victims of mobs and bullies. Strong, affectionate family bonds -- and the possibility that people you love have done really bad things -- play a big role in the story. While the younger characters delight in outdoing one another's colorful insults, there's no profanity. Attempted murder, ambushes, and swordplay, as well as past treachery and killings, are part of the swashbuckling plot -- as are the good effects of kindness, cleverness, and diplomacy.
What's the story?
Twelve-year-old Drest, THE MAD WOLF'S DAUGHTER, is the youngest member (and only "lass") in her family war band in medieval Scotland. When her father, the much-feared Mad Wolf, and her brothers are taken captive, soon to be hanged in a public post-Easter celebration, Drest has only her own resources, her brother's sword -- and the encouraging telepathic voices of her imprisoned but snarky-from-afar sibs -- to save them. First, though, she has to save a wounded young enemy knight who's just survived a murder attempt -- because he knows the way to the castle, and she doesn't.
Is it any good?
First-time author Diane Magras brings a spirited 12-year-old heroine, swordplay, peril, plot twists and betrayals -- plus lots of strong, quiet messages about kindness, and not believing all you hear. Warrior-girl Drest is appealingly relatable from the minute she tries in vain to warn her elders about an invading party -- and then has to go save them. Readers will cheer The Mad Wolf's Daughter as she braves many perils to rush to the rescue, in the process gaining surprising allies and even more surprising insights into herself and the Code of her father's war band. The satisfying conclusion is just a pause for breath, with a sequel due in spring 2019..
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Middle Ages, specifically in Scotland, where The Mad Wolf's Daughter is set. What other stories (real or imaginary) do you know about this era? Why do you think people today find it so appealing?
One of the lessons here is that you can't control your legend -- once people start recounting stories about you, there's no telling whether you'll like the stories, or even if they're true. Have you ever had this experience in real life? How did you cope?
Can you think of an example in regular life where talking was a good way to solve a conflict? Does this always work? What might get in the way?
- Author: Diane Magras
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
- Publication date: March 6, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love adventure and history
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.