This little-known book, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken was recommended to me by a middle school librarian. Written in 1962, it has the feel of classic children’s literature. Set in England, complete with horse-drawn carriages, wolves, and a train ride, it reminds me of my favorite Shirley Temple movies.

The story revolves around the adventures of plucky Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia. When Bonnie’s wealthy parents set out on an ocean voyage to revive her mother’s failing health, Miss Slighcarp takes over Bonnie’s palatial home, Willoughby Chase. Living in luxury, Miss Slighcarp reduces the girls to servants, and then sends them to a school for orphans which is little more than a workhouse. With the help of young Simon the geese herder and sympathetic adults along the way, Bonnie seeks to restore her home and free the orphans.

Children will appreciate that, in the end, everyone gets what they deserve. This book could be enjoyed by children ages 9-12.

Donna Fujimoto is a graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary. She has published both devotionals for adults and short stories for teens. Her children love to read.

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