Thursday, February 7, 2013

Recommendation: 'The Children and the Wolves' by Adam Rapp

The Children and the Wolves. This is such a powerful raw and disturbing read, its hard to explain the impact upon reading it. Three friends, tight, fuelled by inattentive parents and varying backgrounds of family dysfunction abduct a toddler aiming to profit from fake attempts to raise funds to aid her search party.
The disturbing nature of the narrative is less about the young girl and more about the undercurrent of unrestrained violence and perverted loyalty that connect the three young people. We are not talking uneducated thuggery here, the ringleader Bounce has a near genius IQ, and yet she flies under the radar of her parents who travel internationally as drug reps and are in thrall of the lifestyle and perks those of a certain socieconomic group enjoy. Likewise, Wiggins and Orange,  are each disconnected from familial support and mainstream networks aimed to monitor and support at risk youth. All three form a gang of sorts where the two boys will do anything at the bidding of the ringleader Bounce.

At the risk of giving a spoiler alert, the message of the text is less about the toddler and more about what fuels acts of brutality and sorting through the tangles strands of the lives of those involved, to better understand how they come to behave in such antisocial ways. While this isn't a pleasant happy-ever-after kind of read it certainly provokes thought and invites commentary and discussion. Fans of Ellen Hopkins will find a kindred spirit in Adam Rapp.

Reviewed by: Sue W (Central Library)

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