Ghost Wolf


64 pages
ISBN 1-55143-341-9
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Allan Cormack and Deborah Drew-Brook
Reviewed by Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher writes novels for young adults. Her most recent works
are The Trouble with Liberty, Zee’s Way, and Chat Room.


Ghost Wolf is the story of Matt and his first summer camp experience. A
timid, insecure boy, Matt sets out on this adventure reluctantly, even
though his father assures him that he will have a great time. Things
don’t start off well. Matt’s lack of outdoor skills combined with
his poor memory and clumsiness earn him teasing from one of the other
boys. But he quickly makes friends and begins to get the hang of things,
and soon it is almost time to go home. All that remains is an overnight
camping trip. As the boys sit around the campfire, a wolf howls and Matt
tells the group how his father freed a white wolf from a trap many years
ago when he attended the camp. After everyone turns in for the night,
Matt realizes he forgot his life jacket at the last portage. When he
sneaks into the night to retrieve it, he gets lost and meets the same
white wolf his father encountered years before.

Ghost Wolf is intended for readers just venturing into chapter books,
so its brevity precludes extensive character and plot development.
Nevertheless, Matt’s nighttime adventure is packed with excitement.
Unfortunately this excitement is marred by the story’s climax and the
reappearance of the wolf. This resolution is not only trite; it’s
impossible. The average life expectancy of wolves in the wild is eight
years, so there is no way Matt could have had this encounter. But
without it, the story falls apart. Recommended with reservations.


Bradford, Karleen., “Ghost Wolf,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,