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Wolf Boy: A Novel
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Wolf Boy: A Novel

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
On a frosty winter’s day, Francis—the sweet, generous, responsible eldest child of the Harrelson family—dies in a car accident on an ice-covered highway, and Wolf Boy is born.

The earth doesn’t rumble, no angels descend, and the sun doesn’t weep. Nothing, in short, to signify the deep change that each member of the Harrelson household will undergo. Parents Gene and Helen tu
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Broadway Books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 26, 2008 NYLSpublishing rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to NYLSpublishing by: NYLS Book Review
Once, on a flight between New York and Chicago, I was approached by an author who left first class to berate me for her book receiving universally poor reviews and who informed me that I was to be held personally responsible for the miniscule sales numbers her title achieved since I “set the tone which led to her lampooning.” Well, I defended myself as valiantly as possible. But, in the end, it was a fellow passenger listening to our exchanges that produced a copy of the book, offered it to the ...more
Apr 02, 2008 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the comics which are interjected into this novel and the concept about the main characters brother dying and him using comics as a way of coping. I have to admit I wasn't crazy about the religious aspect of the novel, but I'm not a religious person, so some might like that but knowing nothing really of religion it just wasn't my thing. Kuhlman did a good job of describing grief within the family and it was a quick and enjoyable read.
Oct 21, 2016 Kicia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Decent story, nice concept with the addition of the comic books written by Stephen, the younger brother, and his girlfriend. But a lot of the dialogue was a mess, couldn't imagine people speaking that way. It made what should have been a touching and emotional book into a bit of a joke, for me. Same with unbelievable reactions from the characters, and scenes that were pointless. Regardless of how farfetched a plot might seem, good writing will make you believe the characters are real in their wo ...more
May 07, 2007 nicole rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
As reviewed by me on June 21, 2006: I've stopped reading at page 25 for the night, before I give myself a tear-enduced headache, which as you may know, are pretty much impossible to get rid of after they've been gotten. I've physically winced at a few overly sentimental turns of phrase already (like seriously gut-churning stuff), but I think I'm going to like it overall -- if i can get through it, I mean. I'm not particuarly sad that his brother died because his brother, so far as I can see, is ...more
Jay Feria
Oct 27, 2012 Jay Feria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was actually pretty cool. I remember the first time I got this book was when I was in middle school. I needed a book that I was supposed to read for reading logs and since I’m not much of a reader I didn’t really have that many books to read. So I stopped by a nearby bookstore and just picked up any book that looked cool and caught my eye. I happen to find this one and since then I’m very glad I did. I saw other people’s reviews though and I saw that not many people enjoy this book. I ...more
Apr 19, 2007 Ian rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of comic books/ coming of age stories
This book was not as good as I had hoped, but not a bad effort for a first novel. The story itself is fairly uninspired; it is about a teenager, Stephen, who loses his older brother to a car accident and must continue living his life. He is surrounded by sadness and depression, feeling isolated from the rest of the world. His parents don't help int this regard as each of them seems to draw deeper into their own little worlds. The really interesting thing about this novel, though, are the graphic ...more
May 28, 2009 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Finished many months ago:]

Kind of a sad tale, but interesting look at a family that experiences the death of their "golden child", Francis, and how the two younger, neglected, children [Stephen and Crispy:]--and the parents [Gene and Helen:]--cope with the loss: the look-alike younger brother creates a comic book, which appears within the novel, called "Wolf Boy" {who, you guessed it, represents the younger brother, whose quest is to get in touch with God about resurrecting his brot
Aug 01, 2015 Leah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, 2015
I picked this book up at a used book store and gave it a chance. I'd like to give this book 3.5 stars because it kept me going until the end. Two things are odd about this book - the genre is unclear and the writing is stilted. I thought I was reading a YA book about losing a loved one, but I would not recommend this one to a young adult - too vulgar. Still, I loved the idea of writing graphic novels to deal with grief. Also the perspectives changed throughout the book- I liked that because I co ...more
Mar 26, 2008 Wallace rated it really liked it
I'd like to see more novels like this one, and it gains a lot of credit just by trying something rare--including comic book pages in the narrative. I read this book thinking it was for eighth-graders, and maybe that was the wrong assumption.
The comic book pages are crackling with absurd humor. Not anything a thirteen-year-old could really create, but I can't blame the Fraim brothers for wanting to show off their talent. In comparison the 'main' narrative is much more conventional. I wonder at ho
Jun 28, 2008 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: midwesterners, people who are on the fringe of loss, comic book types
There were things I really enjoyed about Wolf Boy (the comics tucked in between chapters, the kookiness of the younger teenagers, the semi-local setting in nearby Illinois) and things I really didn't have much patience for (the mother's various episodes, the religious stuff, the little sister). Kuhlman does a great job drawing the reader in, but once I'd been drawn in I wasn't sure I wanted to stay. An interesting idea (using comics to deal with loss) but ultimately just an ok read.
Sean Kottke
Took me a bit to get back around to this, but I'm so glad I did. Tracing the different responses of four family members to the loss of the eldest son in an auto accident, it's reminiscent of Disobedience, Ordinary People, The Ice Storm and the Fantastic Four in its depiction of a quartet of strong personalities falling apart and coming together in grief. Beautifully done; I had originally thought it YA, but it's really adult literary fiction featuring young adults.
Jenny Maloney
Feb 02, 2008 Jenny Maloney rated it really liked it
Shelves: have-read
I will give it this: I did not think the mix of graphic novel and novel would work as well as it did. The sequences blended incredibly well and the family's reactions to the death of Frances were remarkably true-to-life. However, there were some pieces that bordered on sentimental-tear forcing. But all-in-all pretty darn good.
Nov 06, 2007 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a poignant, creative read! This book describes how a family, particularly 14-year-old Stephen, copes with the grief of losing their 19-year-old brother and son. Stephen copes with the loss of his beloved brother by creating Wolf Boy, a teenage comic book superhero who possesses the strength he needs to rebuild his world. Wonderfully imaginative and incredibly compelling! Great book!
Belea Keeney
A slow-paced and sad tale about a family dealing (or not) with death. I slogged through this and found the perspectives for each grieving character finely drawn and therefore excruciating. This book is so deeply about grief that reading it will either depress you or make you grateful that you're not living it. Well written and sympathetic characters will make you finish this.
Jamie Felton
Nov 20, 2007 Jamie Felton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
A debut novel that tackles the interesting task of combining a graphic novel with a standard novel. The protagonist (Stephen)'s brother dies in a car accident and deals with his grief by creating a comic book with his friend and love interest Nicole. It is well done as far as combining the two styles; however, the writing is a little bit trite and melodramatic.

I wish Wolf Boy could have helped me read the book. The book comes with some comic illustrations which first grabbed my attention. I loved the idea of a comic created by the protagonist that mirrored his his and represented his struggle to under life. Or more specifically the untimely death of his older brother.

Aug 01, 2009 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book, but I really couldn't get into it withing the first couple chapters. I may give it another go later on, but at this moment, it's not upbeat enough for my summer reading pleasure.
Nick Colen
Jun 14, 2012 Nick Colen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic story about loss and the ways we deal with it. This is the tale of a young boy who loses his brother in a car accident and how it shapes him. It features a pleathera of amazing characters and characterizations.
Apr 19, 2008 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The book was pretty boring in my opinion, I'm unsure why I finished it. I will say however that Kuhlman did a good job portraying the family after a tragedy. I found it very realistic and easy to relate to.

Colleen Wainwright
Dec 23, 2011 Colleen Wainwright rated it liked it
Some lovely twists here and there, and a well-formed sense of place and time. The comics conceit was an interesting idea, but it doesn't add much to the experience of reading. Agreed on what appears to be the consensus: a pretty promising first novel.
Aug 19, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very touching story of a family overcoming grief over the loss of a loved one. Having the comic strips that Stephen was writing throughout the book actually inside the book was pretty awesome.
Maddie C.
May 18, 2014 Maddie C. rated it really liked it
I read this because my mom owns it and recommended it to me but there were some descriptive parts that were surprising to me. But overall I enjoyed it. It started to depress me though.
I wish I could give this 3 1/2 stars. It was a clearance shelf random selection and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.
Jul 30, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, rh
This book seemed better than it was when I was reading it.
Aug 18, 2007 Vanessa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very sad.
Jun 17, 2009 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
written by a guy I went to grad school with. He was very cool and his book is equally cool. kind of a combo novel / graphic novel. excellent read.
Jul 09, 2009 Summer rated it it was ok
not as good as I thought it would be
Dec 16, 2012 Judi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2006
Excellent portrayal of grief and a young boy's way of handling it.

Read our review here:
L rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2013
Elizabeth rated it liked it
May 18, 2013
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