Cover Image: The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars

The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars

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Member Reviews

I knew that as soon as I read the synopsis of The Boy, The Wolf, and The Stars, I had to get my hands on a copy. I was thrilled to be chosen for the blog tour by TBR and Beyond Tours. This book did not disappoint, it was filled with adventure, magic and friendship. The cover really drew me in but the story was just as wonderful.

Our hero of this story is a 12 year old boy named Bo and along with his companion Nix, his pet fox they set out to fix a wrong he has done. When Bo forgets to spread dust around an old tree, it leads to the death of his caretaker Mads. Now an evil curse has awoken and magic is spreading through the land, while a wolf hunts him down. Bo must find the stars which were stolen long ago and return them to the sky.

In between the chapters there is a page or two detailing the myth relating to the story. I found that to added to Bo’s story and I really enjoyed learning the history. The author does an amazing job at world-building, as we explore alongside of Bo and his friends. Everything about this story was sumptuous magical. I really loved Nix, and wished that I too could have a pet fox, there bond was one of my favourite things about this story.
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4.5 stars

The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is definitely a middle grade story that took me by surprise and in a good way. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down. Bo's story sucked me in and wouldn't let me go until the very end.

This book deals with a lot of heavier subjects, but in a way for this age group to understand without making it childish. Themes like grief, abandonment, greed and forgiveness are talked about during Bo's adventures. The characters Bo meet along the way help support these themes and make Bo understand them more. I loved the cast of characters in this story, even if Nix will always be my favorite. There's definitely a soft spot in my heart for him.

The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is an emotional read. I actually had tears in my eyes near the end. That doesn't happen often when I read middle grade books. Shivaun Plozza definitely had me bonding with these characters and I could feel the emotions they were feeling. Besides the heavier emotions in this book, there is a magical adventure with myths and fairytales. My favorite of that being chapters of The True Histories of Ule. These little excerpts are more lighthearted and even have some sarcasm hidden in their stories. I saw it as a great addition in this book.

As I said, grief is a bigger part of the story and I do want people to be aware of this. It could be a hard book to read for children and even adults dealing with their own loss (human or animal). I would really highly recommend this adventure though. The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is a book I won't be forgetting anytime soon!
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This was such a fantastic read. From page one I was hooked and knew that it would be a new favorite of mine. If you read nothing else in my review, just read this: The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is 100% a book you should pick up.

A big make or break in a book is the characters. Are they interesting? Are they unique? Do they have any kind of character arc? I was on the lookout for all of those characteristics, and I'm happy to report that all of them were checked off! The characters were all so real. Not only were they well rounded and strong representations, but their interactions and relationships all felt so real.  It will speak to more than just children and it made me think of books like The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and Sweep.
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First off, this cover is AMAZING. And the text matches. Eerie, haunting, and poignant, this is a book that broke my heart by the end. I have a particular love for dark elementary and middle grade novels and Plozza balances this perfectly. I can see this as a book that kids of any age, truly, will enjoy.
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What can I say about THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE STARS? Well, what I can say is that it’s a POWERFUL 5 star read! First off, the magic in the story is what pulled me into the story. The land of Ulv has magic within its bones. The trees. The leaves. The stars. The entire world is filled magic. Then, the character development. Shivaun did a FANTASTIC job with her characters. Bo, the main character, is set upon a journey with his pet fox—Nix—to stop the shadow creatures from taking over Ulv. The personal journey that Bo undergoes is heart wrenching and impactful. From start to finish, Bo becomes the person he was meant to become. Thirdly, the world building is so well done. I love the fact that Bo, along with his friends, must find three magical keys to return to the stars. What a wonderful story. A 5/5 rating isn’t even high enough for this story. I highly recommend this story to EVERYONE!!!!!!
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I started reading this with my two boys aged 11 and 7. Unfortunately they could not connect with the storyline so we did not finish. 

Thank you to #NetGalley for the copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you HMH books for young readers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this title. The premise of this book really intrigued me. The cover art is stunning! 

This book started off slow for me and at times I found myself not having remembered what I just read as a result.

I think it's a good book just not one that captivated me, unfortunately
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I picked up this book mainly because of the cover- the colors and artwork are absolutely stunning, but I was also very intrigued to read about a wolf who swallowed the stars and a boy who has to save them. Shivaun does deal with some heavier topics such as abandonment, abuse (verbal and physical), degradation, and prejudice. I found it refreshing that she doesn’t shy away or brush the situations under the rug and that it all plays a vital role within the story. This book was filled with world building, tons of description, and folklore.
I really felt bad for Bo and the way he was treated, even by his own guardian Mads. My heart broke for him and all of the children out there who really do get treated like this or worse. I’m not sure if I had a favorite character, but I did like Nix a lot. He was very intuitive for a fox and extremely loyal to Bo. I liked learning of Ulv’s history, its magic, lore, and creatures. My favorite creature was probably the colossal-spit mouth slug. 
I love that in the end, there is a lesson of self worth, friendship, and found family- it was emotional. I really wish that the pace of this book was a tad faster, but overall I thought the world/ kingdom that Shivaun built was interesting and extensive for a middle grade novel. I don’t really know what to compare this book to, but if you like full fleshed fantasy worlds, this book is definitely for you!
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For a middle grade read, I loved the themes that were included such as chosen family, friendships, and trusting yourself. I find this so important for young teens and preteens. There so great world building and the magic is wonderful. I think this is a great MG read, it’s very relatable and fast paced and I think many young readers will love it!
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This was a fast-paced book that was full of heart. I found it handled a lot of heavier topics such as grief, abandonment, and greed/power very well and did so without dumbing it down for the age range.

I absolutely loved the added excerpts from The True Histories of Ule, which I kind of want as its own book. It added a lot of interesting history to it and read like a fairytale/myth. And let me just say that map at the beginning is beautiful!

With this book handling the topic of grief, I did find it to be an emotional read, especially in the last few chapters. I am happy with how Plozza ended this topic/book – I don’t know if I could have handled her not ending it the way she did without it completely ripping and stomping on my heart. That being said, not everything ends with sunshine and rainbows, so it may be more emotionally impactful to those who have had recent deaths of family members or pets.

Overall, I thought this was a very enjoyable read and the later half really made the book for me.
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This book started off slow for me and at times I found myself not having remembered what I just read as a result. The book did pick up for me and got to a point where I was able to focus without issue the more I got into. It. I loved the relationships between the characters and the history ULV that was presented at the end of chapters. It’s a book I’ll probably read again later.
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3.5/ 5 Stars 

I had a great time reading this! I loved that this book had a bit of a darker side to it, It made it more fun to read and become more invested in the story. The world-building was great, It was fast-paced and gave me some feels. I'm excited to see what else this author comes out with!
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I often find that Middle Grade books are the most emotional, beautiful stories. I wish I could get more of my adult friends to read a middle grade book every once in a while. The Boy, The Wolf, and the Stars was a heart wrenching, tale of a boy who makes a mistake and does everything he can to put things  right. Along the way he makes wonderful friends who become more like family. Loved this book and will absolutely be buying a copy to share with my kids!

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Why is it that middle-grade books have the best ability to nearly reduce me to tears? A story about a boy who makes a mistake and puts in a phenomenal effort to put it right with the help of his newfound friends who become more of a family. You can’t help but feel for Bo – even though he technically has the most basic needs met, he lacks a home. Without Nix, I have a feeling the Bo we go on an adventure within The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars would not be the same boy. The story behind the Un-King and his mentality remind me of a character that you would find in Wonderland. Tam was by far my favorite character (besides Nix), and seeing her dedication to Bo was heart-warming.

The land of Ulv is beautifully described – even right down to the gloomy and haunting forests, the names of which have more meaning than Bo thought they did. The finished book will feature a map, and I can’t wait to see it – I LOVE book maps. My favorite area was the Forest of Tid, and I would be just as enchanted with it as Bo was. Tam’s home with the Korahku, while interesting, would be downright creepy – I’m not entirely sure I would be willing to enter that area of Ulv. I will admit I wish the story covered the weird beasties that often get mentioned throughout the story better. Are they real? I know at least some of them turned out to be.

“Doesn’t mean I’ll forget what they did and it doesn’t excuse it,” he said. “It means I won’t give them power over me anymore. Because that’s what hate does. It gets me all tangled up with people who don’t even care about me — trying to figure out why they treat me bad, what I did wrong, how I can get my revenge on them. But their hate isn’t my responsibility. I’ll do what I can to put things right but I won’t hate them; I won’t punish them like for like. I’ll fight back. I’ll make a difference. I might even forgive them one day, if they earn it. But I won’t let hate win.”

The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars was such a beautiful, mesmerizing book sprinkled with tough subjects for middle-grade readers. To name a few – the death of a loved one, abandonment, anger/hatred, mob mentality, and last but not least, warped opinions. It also has its fair share of positive things for kids to learn – the beauty of found family, defying ignorance, hate, and tradition, standing up for yourself and others, and believing in yourself. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy magic, found family, middle-grade, and fantasy. If there ever happens to be a continuation of this story I will 100% read it. A huge thank you to TBR & Beyond, HMH Books for Young Readers, and Shivaun Plozza for the opportunity to read this beautiful adventure of a boy, his fox, and his chosen family – all opinions are my own.
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Book Review :-
It's a children's fantasy middle grade novel. It captures enchanting adventure of Bo. Author has beautiful described the age old traditional myths into the story and built memorable and well developed characters.
The ending breaks your heart and heals it again. Highly recommended for the fans of ''The girl who drank the moon'' & ''The witch's boy" and also to children ages 8 to 12.
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I read this book as part of the tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars

This book had all the elements that I normally love in a middle-grade fantasy! We get an amazing landscape in the world of Ulv that's rich in culture and myth, an innocent and curious protagonist, a cute and mischievous furry companion, and best of all wonderful friendships and found family! This also had surprisingly deep themes about abandonment and Plozza also doesn't shy away from showing the darker side of humanity.

First of all, there's a map and I love a book with a good map, especially when it enhances the world-building. Plozza does a wonderful job in bringing Ulv to life in this story through rich descriptions of the surroundings, and most of all, through the inclusion of myths and the extensive history of the areas and different races. The chapters are broken up with "excerpts" from Ulv's historical texts, where we get some more background to what was currently happening (or about to happen) in the story in the present time. It was a really fun way of slowly building up the world and there was really so much to learn/see! I'm really glad that we explore a fair bit of Ulv through the quest-like adventure that Bo and his friends embark on. It's actually quite a dark and sinister world with lots of haunted forests, as well as cunning and malevolent creatures. There's really so much to appreciate in the worldbuilding and it was without a doubt my favourite aspect of the story!

I was immediately lured into the story when we're introduced to Bo and Nix. My heart immediately went out to Bo because of his sad situation. As the story progressed I became increasingly incensed at how people, mostly the "adults", treated this child. I raged and wanted to throw my Kindle across the room! They were so incredibly cruel and hurtful--and to a child no less!--but I did appreciate how Plozza used them to show the negative influencing power of fear and anger. Again, the author doesn't shy away from the darker side of humanity which is refreshing since it's an MG fantasy. As I said before, the friendships and found family aspect of the story was wonderful! Tam and Selene were great additions to Bo's and I loved how unquestioningly supportive they were of him. There were strong themes of parental abandonment within the friendship group that allowed to form a quick but deeply understanding bond, and my heart broke for all of them, their experience and how they saw themselves as a result of that. The friendship really strengthened their characters though!

That said, I do wish that the characters had been more deeply developed, especially Tam and Selene. I was curious and to a point, I cared and was invested in their journey to set the stars free, though I wasn't particularly attached to any of them--not even the adorable foxy, Nix. I also found the resolution and ending a little anti-climactic as a lot more focus was given to the build up. It wasn't terrible just a little too easily resolved. However, I recognize I'm not the intended audience and I have no doubt that middle-grade me would've 100% adored this book and I'm sure many young readers today will love it too!

Overall, this was such a delightful middle-grade fantasy that will sweep you away with its incredible worldbuilding, fascinating myths and history, and intriguing magic, all wrapped up in a fast-paced and action-packed adventure!
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One of the things I love most about middle grade is the characters’ sense of wonder and can-do spirit, which this book has plenty of. The author’s lyrical prose adds to the beauty of the book.

Imagine a night sky with no stars or moon. A pitch black night with monsters who hunt and kill.

Abandoned at birth, twelve-year-old Bo has only a cranky guardian and a pet fox. Until the day he forgets to perform a crucial spell, letting magic back into the world.

When his guardian is killed and shadow creatures begin attacking the villages, Bo must solve the clues his guardian left behind to free the stars the wolf swallowed.

One thing is clear: whoever controls the stars gains great power. Bo and his band of unexpected allies must make sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Bo struggles with feelings of abandonment, but along the way, he builds his own family. Middle school (and adult!) readers will enjoy watching Bo make his first friends.

Dispersed throughout the chapters are a few pages of stories written by The Scribe, who’s tasked with recording everything that happens in this world. Her bird’s eye (quite literally! She gets reports from owls!) perspective adds richness to the characters’ experiences. I began to look forward to her pages. I had to laugh at how every forest in this world is haunted!

This ending rips your heart out, then heals it again. I felt the magic of the characters’ journey.
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***ARC Review***

I would’ve been obsessed with this book in middle school! The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is actually a very heavy book in terms of themes and difficult events that happen throughout the story, but this is interspersed with hilarious interludes, incredible magic, and absolutely adorable moments, creating a wonderful narrative. My favorite part of this book is the magic system and the lore. I mean shadow creatures, star-eating wolves, STARS, it’s so much fun!! There is also an absolutely adorable found family and just so much sweetness all around, this is a book that will break your heart and then put it back together and leave your heart glowing. The main characters are lovely although not as deep as they could be and the villains are SO COOL! As you can see, there are lots of things I loved about this book but now for the not fun part, that one big thing I didn’t like: the plot was boring. Don’t get me wrong, the emotions it invoked are incredible and I loved the ending but I didn’t feel that pull towards picking it up and continuing to read, I wasn’t wondering what was going to happen next, it just didn’t have that level of intrigue. But like I said, I would’ve loved this book in middle school. Now, though, I think my expectations are just too high. Anyway, The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars is overall an incredible and heartfelt story of love, hope, and friendship so if you’re looking for some fun magic and a bit of warmth, I do recommend picking this one up!
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As soon as I read the premise of The Boy, The Wolf, and The Stars, I knew that I had to add the book to the top of my never-ending TBR list. A story about a world that had no stars was unique idea. Immediately, I wanted to discover the reasoning behind the stars' initial disappearance and learn whether (and how) the stars would return. Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for the e-ARC! All opinions are my own.

When I read stories, I like characters who are flawed. For me, flawed characters are more realistic and as such, those are the ones that readers can learn the most from. In The Boy, The Wolf, and The Stars, all of Plozza's main characters are flawed. Bo, Tamira, and Selene each make mistakes and regret their decisions. Yet, each of them still strives to be a better person. They are not perfect, and it is the imperfection that makes them such wonderful role models. The only perfect (and adorable!) character is Nix, but he is Bo's pet fox and as such, is given a pass.

Reading usually becomes an immersive experience for me, so I also like it when authors incorporate strong wordbuilding into their stories. The Boy, The Wolf, and The Stars is a phenomenally written standalone! Not only is the worldbuilding fantastic, but Plozza also incorporates mythology that is specific to her created world. Sprinkled throughout the novel are excerpts from The True Histories of ULV, which provides extra tidbits about Plozza's world. I particularly like how an excerpt of The True Histories of ULV would build upon events that were simultaneously occurring in the story.

The Boy, and The Wolf, and The Stars is more than just a tale about a boy who embarks on a quest with his friends to return the stars. The story is also about found family, inner strength, and forgiveness. For those readers who are looking for a great standalone, The Boy, The Wolf, and The Star is a thoroughly enjoyable read that includes strong characters and fantastic worldbuilding.
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THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE STARS is an enchanting middle grade fantasy. Bo was left in the woods as a baby, and the townspeople have rejected him because he was able to survive it. In this world, the wolf has eaten all of the Stars, allowing the Shadow Creatures to arrive in the dark and do terrible things. People have found a way to live around this fear, but the Creatures are getting bolder and more dangerous.

When Bo forgets to do a seemingly meaningless task, things escalate and his caretaker is killed, sending Bo on a journey to find the stars he was sure never existed and save the world before the witch and the wolf take over.

This book captures an enchanting adventure, and I loved the inclusion of all the mythology of this world in addition to Bo's story. As a hero, Bo is unassuming and not quite confident, but he believes in his caretaker and the mission he sent him on. As he forges ahead, his confidence grows, and he begins to come into his own. The other characters we get to know, such as Tam, are equally as compelling, but the world-building really blew me away. I would add a note of caution for sensitive readers that the book definitely has some dark and creepy parts, as Bo is faced with the many sides of human nature and death (particularly those via the Shadow Creatures).

THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE STARS is a compelling and enchanting middle grade fantasy with memorable characters and fantastic world-building. Highly recommend for fans of THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON and THE WITCH'S BOY. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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