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  • Published: Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday [1963, c1962]
  • Year Published: 1962
  • Edition: [1st ed. in the U.S.A.]
  • Description: 168 p. illus. 22 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 1020

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0385327900 :
  • 0440496039 :

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The wolves of Willoughby Chase

by Aiken, Joan, 1924-2004.

There are no copies available

Where To Find It

Call number: J Fiction / Aiken, Joan

Additional Details

Youth level.

Community Reviews

Best Ever!!!

This book takes you on a journey like none other!

An Exciting Adventure

This book really keeps you on the edge of your seat while you read it, as there are many twists and turns that come out of nowhere. Sylvia grew up with an aunt, who has barely anything to call her own, while Bonnie is the total opposite. She grew up in basically a mansion, and had everything she wanted--including servants. Sylvia then goes to live with Bonnie, and Bonnie's parents leave on a sea voyage that is meant to cure Lady Green's health. Unfortunately, a horrible governess, Miss Slighcarp, comes to take care of them. She takes everything away and sends them to a boarding house, where they are treated very badly. They then fight back, to regain their lost possessions, and find their parents. They escape from Miss Slighcarp and Mrs. Brisket, and finally, at the end of the book, everything is happy and peaceful once again.

I loved this book, as it was very exciting and drew me in.

Spoiler Alert

Joan Aiken was a pioneer in the adults-being-over-the-top-cruel literary genre. The Lemony Snicket books are like an updated version of the Wolves Chronicles. It shouldn't be enjoyable to read, but there's something satisfying about these stories where kids go through so much ill treatment and then win in the end. These kids start off at the top of the world, then are slowly broken down piece by piece until they're wearing a sack for clothing, with a number for a name, with nothing to eat but bread crusts and gruel. There's a happy ending to it all, though.

This also seems like it may have been the inspiration behind the "Nathaniel and Isabel" story from Six Feet Under.

A childhood favorite

Bonnie and Sylvia Green are opposites in many ways. While Bonnie is bubbly and daring and has grown up with every luxury she could wish for, Sylvia is a ladylike and timid orphan whose aunt can barely afford food and clothing. Despite their differences, when Sylvia comes from London to live in the country with Bonnie and her parents at Wiloughby Chase both girls are delighted with one another, but when Bonnie's parents embark on a sea voyage to cure Lady Green's health, a very menacing governess comes to take charge of the girls. Miss Slighcarp sends them away to a horrible boarding house run by another cruel woman, Mrs. Brisket. Bonnie's boldness and Sylvia's tenderness help them to fight back against their afflictions. Their friendships with the kindly servants of the Chase and the boy who lives in the wilderness on the grounds also aid them in their quest to escape from Miss Slighcarp and Mrs. Brisket.

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