The Wolves in the Walls

by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

No one believes Lucy when she tells her family that the sounds she hears in the walls... read more

No one believes Lucy when she tells her family that the sounds she hears in the walls are wolves. “They were hustling noises and bustling noises They were crinkling noises and crackling noises. They were sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises.” Besides, each member of her family says, “You know what they say...If the wolves come out of the walls, then it’s all over.” When Lucy turns out to be right, her family’s life is turned upside down. Driven from their home, her parents and brother contemplate where they might go. But Lucy doesn’t want to leave her home. For her, the only solution is to go back—to live in the very walls the wolves once occupied. In that cramped space, listening to the wolves wreak havoc as they smear her mother’s homemade jam on the walls, play her father’s second best tuba, and party like the animals they are, Lucy and her family are pushed beyond their limits. It is in that moment that they find the courage to reclaim their home. Neil Gaiman’s inventive, original story is eerie, ominous and funny, alternately understated and over-the-top with its humor. Gaiman’s wonderful language and finely paced storytelling are complemented by Dave McKean’s haunting illustrations that heighten each mood with every turn of the page. (Ages 7–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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