Wolfstongue by Sam Thompson; illustrated by Anna Tromop

Wolfstongue is the debut children’s book from Booker-longlisted author Sam Thompson. Wolfstongue is based on a medieval fable about Reynard the trickster fox and his rival Isengrim the wolf.

Wolfstongue tells the story of Silas, a young boy who has trouble speaking. As a result, he is the victim of bullies, he frustrates his family because he can’t communicate properly and is filled with a range of feelings about his disability. One day on his way home from school, Silas encounters an injured wolf. He helps the wolf, who has something stuck in his paw. The wolf and Silas continue on their journeys. Along the path, Silas encounters a talking fox. During the course of the meeting, Silas is bitten by another fox. Just when it looks very dark for him, he is rescued by the wolf that he helped earlier. This is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime for Silas and his wolf friend Isengrim.

Silas learns from Isengrim that he and his wife Hersent are the last of the wolves. They tell him the story of how many years ago, the foxes tricked the wolves into becoming their slaves by giving them the ability to talk. They also tell Silas the story of the Wolfstongue. “We had a name for a certain human child. This was the child who would walk side by side with the wolves, and would know our silence. The child would be our voice. so that we could live as wolves ought to live. Free from words. The name for that child was Wolfstongue.”

Will Silas find his voice and become Wolfstongue to save the wolves? Or is he destined to stay silent? This is a wonderful story that will have you on the edge of your seat, rooting for Silas and the wolves. There isn’t a dull bit of this tale, you won’t be able to putt down. Wolfstongue is a book for anyone who loves to read about the underdog and see them triumph. The themes of friendship, loyalty, family, determination and courage flow throughout the whole book.

The author, Sam Thompson, wrote this book for the best of reasons. He wanted to write a story for his son who has speech problems and loves wolves. I’m sure his son is very proud. His dad has given him a voice.

Wolfstongue will be published by Little Island Publishing in May 2021. Available to pre-order from http://littleisland.ie/ or from you local book shop.

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