2022 Book Review: She Named Me Wolf

She Named Me Wolf by Tenkara Smart

YA Fantasy, Independently Published in 2020, 336 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Content Warning: abuse, suicidal thoughts, violence. Very tough to read. 
  • Time jumps made this a complicated timeline to follow. Sometimes the events we follow seem unnecessary and I wondered what they added to the story. 
  • I was frustrated at how many adults were aware of what was going on and did nothing for this child. I know it’s a (sad) reality, but it was hard to read. I won’t say more than that since I avoid spoilers in these reviews. 

What I Did Like:

  • Tackling big topics in an interesting way. This book is essentially a contemporary story about a boy dealing with serious abuse and coping by using his imagination in a fantastical way. I love books that don’t shy away from tough topics. 
  • Wolf is a great character. He’s learning inner strength and struggling with who he wants to be. He reminds me of so many kids I’ve known over the years and I instantly wanted great things for him. He is curious, which often gets him into trouble. Honestly this book is a great lesson on how some adults treat curiosity as a bad thing and why that can be so harmful. 
  • Japanese teaching. I liked the look into Japanese culture and how open Sensei was to discussions with Wolf. I’m not an expert so I can’t speak to the accuracy, but I enjoyed it!

Who Should Read This One:

  • Readers who aren’t afraid of tough subjects and want this blend of fantasy through the eyes of a child. 

My Rating: 4 Stars

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