Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Children and the Wolves” as Want to Read:
The Children and the Wolves
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Children and the Wolves

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  359 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
Genius girl, Bounce, and her two drifter sidekicks, Wiggins and Orange, are holding the Frog hostage. As the stakes grow higher and the guilt and tension mount, Wiggins begins to question his complicity and must choose where his loyalties lie. Not for the faint of heart, Adam Rapp’s mesmerizing narrative told in alternating viewpoints ventures deep into disturbing territor ...more
Audio CD
Published February 28th 2012 by Brilliance Audio
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Children and the Wolves, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Children and the Wolves

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details

This is a hell of a risky book!

Wiggins, Orange, and Bounce have taken a child they've named Frog captive, and they're keeping her locked up in Orange's basement. She's been missing for weeks around town, and Bounce has convinced the two boys they can make money from her captivity by deceiving people in town that they're collecting change to fund search and rescue efforts. Frog spends all day in Orange's basement playing a video game about wolves who chase dirty children up trees; she's gett
Adrienne Butler
Unrelenting. Brutal. Sociopathic. Sad. Non-empathic. Told in 4 voices this story is of two boys, Wiggins & Orange, who under the steely direction of the highly self-opinionated Bounce, the lone female, kidnap 3 year-old Frog and plan other crimes.

At 152 pages, Rapp's writing is spare but packs a wallop of a punch. Characters, while not entirely likable or even relatable are starkly drawn with all their flaws bared wide open. You see everything and not one thing is the cause or by-product of
"We feed the Frog Chex cereal and Flintstones chewable vitamins with extra C. She's got a couch and a toilet and a sink and a mini refrigerator and two pillows and a coloring book and crayons and when her underwears get dirty I wash them in the washer-dryer unit. We got a thing of Tide and a thing of Snuggle fabric softener. The washer-dryer unit vibrates a lot and if you press up against it you can get your nut off. I only do that when the Frog is asleep. You can't get your nut off in front of ...more
Andrew Hicks
I'll lead with this fun fact, because I'm 37 years old and watched wayyy too many '80s comedies on VHS - author Adam Rapp is the brother of actor Anthony Rapp, who was the lead kid from Adventures in Babysitting . I thought Anthony Rapp had pulled a "whatever happened to...?" disappearing act, but it turns out he found huge success in the original cast of Rent on Broadway. He even has a memoir, which - if you know me - you know I'm eager to read celebrity memoirs from almost anybody I grew up ...more
Feb 29, 2012 Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, dark, sex, violence, disturbing
geez, and I thought 33 Snowfish and Punkzilla were dark. Rapp just about lost me in the middle of this one. I have to be able to at lest believe that the characters might be real people, and by the end I did. In addition to "dark", I have to add another tag: "disturbing".
Ringo The Cat
Review first published at:

Adam Rapp is a risk taker pur sang. The cat absolutely loved Punkzilla. One of its most striking features may have been the ease with which Rapp gives each character a distinctive voice. Even though Punkzilla also hosted a string of society’s most marginalized outcasts, the main plot premise (a dysfunctional teen finding his way in the world) wasn’t that controversial. It’s a whole different ballgame with The Children and the Wol
Kathleen Houlihan
I agree with Kelly ...3.5

Even more disturbing than Rapp's 33 Snowfish, The Children and the Wolves gives readers a glimpse inside a terrifyingly dark world where the whims of a budding sociopath are carried out with no intervention, save the too little, too late redemption of one of her henchmen.

Bounce is an incredibly dark anti-heroine, and while 33 Snowfish allowed the dark characters to retain some fragility (and, thus, sympathy) Rapp has stripped all that away leaving pure, cold, evil. The
Edward Sullivan
Adam Rapp once again demonstrates his mastery of raw, penetrating prose and bleak imagery. A grim, haunting story.
Using four different voices (Bounce, Wiggins, Orange, and Frog), this title describes life on the fringes of society, and one of the elements that makes it particularly disturbing is the fact that Bounce, the group's manipulative ringleader doesn't have to be on the fringe. She has parents (although they seem to be absent, self-absorbed or clueless most of the time), wealth, and intelligence, but she uses all her gifts to hurt others or to craft elaborate revenge-centered plots. Even though she ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intense, edgy, disturbing - just a few words that describe THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES by Adam Rapp. The reader is slapped in the face with the gritty story on the first page.

Bounce, an extremely intelligent and wealthy girl meets Wiggins and Orange in detention. Bounce immediately sees them for what they are - weaklings and declares herself boss. She is disrespectful to all adults and authority figures and left alone for weeks at a time to do what she wants.

The story is told in alternating poin
I don't know what to think of this one. I was definitely pleased it was such a quick read since it is so thoroughly unpleasant. There are readers who would love it, but I am not one of them - for one thing I like a little humor for leavening in my books and there really wasn't any here. Rapp is dealing with some pretty heavy themes - this is basically an indictment of American consumerist society for one. How does violence in our entertainment influence our children? (Bounce's love of Ultimate F ...more
OK, so I've heard that Adam Rapp's writing is gut-wrenching. When I read the description of this book, I figured I'd see just how disturbing it could really get. Turns out, pretty darn chilling.
Three middle-school-aged kids have kidnapped a 4-year-old girl whom they refer to as "the Frog" and are keeping her in one of their basements. The culprits are Wiggins, Orange and Bounce. Bounce is both wealthy and intelligent, but appears to lack any sense of compassion and is thoroughly manipulative .
Emy Papasideris
This is one of the few books that had me cringing in public--realizing it and still not being able to stop. In a very good way.

It's really amazing to see how much Rapp can do with such few words, and I am so impressed with how he shows everything--the hurt, the abuse, the way these kids are so fucked up most of the time they don't even realize they're fucked up--without telling a single thing. Incredibly powerful story, as are all of Rapp's books.
Dec 02, 2012 Karla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was pointless crap.
A little bit of Adam Rapp goes a long way. This is the third of his novels I have read and the same themes appear over and over, to the extent that the repetitive nature of them dilutes their strength. I'm done with his work - at least for now.
I don't know what to think of this book. It didn't feel like a story, more like a situation. Things happened, but it felt a bit disjointed and almost incomplete. The writing itself was interesting. Run on sentences, in correct grammar, exactly like how 13 year old boys might think. Bounce was like a sociopath not trying hard enough to keep it under wraps. A sociopath who will likely get caught at a young age due to being so bold at showing it. And Frog was not quite 4... and her chapters showed ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Clementine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya, 2012
When Bounce convinces her friends Wiggins and Orange to help her kidnap a little girl, they don’t question her motives. Such is the kind of hold Bounce has on the two boys. The four-year-old they hold hostage in Orange’s basement answers to the nickname “the Frog” and seems okay with being chained to the furniture. She spends her days playing a video game about wolves (a game which mirrors her actual existence a little too well). As things around the teens and the Frog escalate, guilt and tensio ...more
Jan 31, 2012 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older teens and adults
First I'd like to thank Candlewick Press for mailing me this ARC. This was the first ARC I've ever won from the Goodreads giveaway.

So basically, a girl named Bounce and her dimmer friends Wiggins and Orange kidnap a little girl named Frog. (These were all nicknames.) They go around neighborhoods and collect donations supposedly for the Frog's benefit--all part of a scam to get money. As the scam continues, tensions arise and loyalties are questioned., this book was something. It's defi
In the end I am willing to give 3 stars. This book is dark, disturbing and punchy but it is a bit of a mess, too, especially the more you think about what you just read.
3 young teenagers kidnap a toddler which they call The Frog and hold captive in the basement. And that is not the sickest thing going on in this book, bleak and nihilistic Rapp presents us his characters, each gets its own chapters and voices and some end up being more distinct and meaningful than others.
The attitudes and world v
Along the lines of Nothing, this book, though short, is multi-layered, unique and certainly not for everyone. But, it is a train-wreck that can't help but be looked at as the four narrators: three youths and their three-year-old captive Frog explain how they live their lives and through what lens they view it.

Bounce is a privileged genius whose parents flit off and shirk their parenting responsibilities in search of high adventure everywhere but home. She is not the ringleader to Wiggins and Or
Iris Campbell
Dec 12, 2013 Iris Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, here's the basic plot: Fourteen-year-old Bounce, a rich and privileged eighth grader, meets two seventh graders from her junior high in detention. Their names are Wiggins and Orange. Wiggins is uneducated, slow, spacey, and empathetic. Orange is aggressive and fiery, and totally in love with and completely dedicated to Bounce. He even (view spoiler) for a printer from Best Buy, which Bounce considers "Taking one for the te ...more
E. Anderson
Dec 17, 2011 E. Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are books out there that don't so much entertain the reader as hit the reader over the head. THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES is one of these books. Told in multiple perspectives, it's the story of three troubled teens and the little girl that they've kidnapped.

Yes, you read that right. Teenage kidnappers. Most of the characters in this novel are middle school age.

And yet, you feel for these kids. You want them to grow, to do the right thing, to get what they want in life. You want Bounce to ma
Paul  Hankins
Adam Rapp won a Prinz Honor for PUNKZILLA, a wonderful but edgy Hero's Journey story about a young man strung out but trying to get to his terminally ill brother before he dies.

But I first discovered Rapp with his title, 33 SNOWFISH, a book that begins with the line, "On top of everything else, Booby's got the clap." Edgy. . .edgy. . .edgy. . .in 33 SNOWFISH, the characters are holding one of their baby brothers for ransom as they drive around in a van.

This chilling book is told in the alternating voices of the four main characters. Bounce, Orange, and Wiggins are a group of friends who have abducted a young child who they name Frog. The three friends have some common traits - they have little to no positive parental influence in their lives, they sneer at societal norms, and they have easy access to drugs (both prescription and illegal). After they abduct Frog, they then go on to collect money to help fund the search for her, which they plan ...more
Jan 23, 2012 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only good things I can say about this book is the cover was appealing and thankfully it was a short book.

Normally I like a good dark twisted book but this was just pointless. The story is told mainly from three characters and each of their narrative sounds exactly alike, ignorant and racist. I cannot stand when an author TRIES to have multiple characters tell the story and FAIL at giving each their own voice.

The mastermind behind the crime is a bored, spoiled, neglected rich girl who meets h
This book is a quick read, but don't let that fool you. It will push you to think in new ways whether you want to or not.

The book isn't written in a style that I like the most. It is written in a gritty, multi-character point of view. The characters are all young teens, so their view of the world is overly simplistic, but the implications of their acts and thoughts are not.

One point that made it hard for me to enjoy the novel is that none of the characters is really likeable. While I don't min
Nov 22, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I guess maybe it is just me, but I thought this book was pretty terrible. It had a good story line and had great potential, then it just ended..... what happens next, does Wiggins, Orange, and Bounce get caught, does the poet get attacked? Does the caseworker recover at all? Will Wiggins' mom come home? What about Frog? Does she recover? Does she get back to her family? Does she have any ill effects from the drugs Orange fed her? There are just too many unanswered questions when it ends. I wonde
This was a very compelling read! It is definatly not for the faint at heart, and you might want to have some sort of knowladge of poetry. I was amazed at how Bounce was so very intellectual. As the book said she is in an Honors English class and it shows! She has this sophisticated mind set. She has a out of the box way of thinking that would otherwise creep someone out if they did not get to know her character well. I think the part that sort of creeped me out in a sort of fascinating type way, ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Kayla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Where do I start? There are SO many things wrong with this book. My sister warned me not to read it, but because, it was on my list I wanted to. I wish I hadn't. This was one of the VERY WORST books I have EVER read.
The grammar was HORRIBLE! I know this was the authors intention, but it still annoyed me to no end! They used the N-word and I HATE that word! They cussed way too much! The kids were 13-14 years old and they kidnapped a child, they were popping pills and they were planned to kill so
Apr 09, 2012 Jared rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of Rapp, however, this book really took a nosedive in quality, mostly because it reads like a vastly inferior rehash of “33 Snowfish” (Rapp’s highmark, in my opinion).

Rapp can be a really powerful writer, but here he just seems like he’s on autopilot. Other reviewers have commented on the fact that the alternating first-person chapters between all the characters is a flop. The voices of Orange and Wiggins are indistinguishable and Frog’s voice, that of a 4 year-old girl, is just a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sno-Isle Mock Printz: Children and the Wolves 2 10 Nov 13, 2012 01:30PM  
Mock Printz 2018: Children and the Wolves by Rapp 1 27 Jun 22, 2012 08:22PM  
  • Black Helicopters
  • My Book of Life by Angel
  • What Comes After
  • Fake Me a Match
  • Fish in the Sky
  • Lexapros and Cons
  • Paradise
  • Claiming Georgia Tate
  • The Book of Ralph
  • Radiant Days
  • Bloody Chester
  • Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II
  • Personal Effects
  • Zane's Trace
  • Golden Boys
  • Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice
  • Unchained
  • Under the Bridge
Adam Rapp says that when he was working on his chilling, compulsively readable young adult novel 33 SNOWFISH, he was haunted by several questions. Among them: "When we have nowhere to go, who do we turn to? Why are we sometimes drawn to those who are deeply troubled? How far do we have to run before we find new possibilities?"

At once harrowing and hypnotic, 33 SNOWFISH--which was nominated as a Be
More about Adam Rapp...

Share This Book

“I imagine a soul is a little perfect crystal egg floating in your chest. Somewhere deeper than where they put your heart. Somewhere so deep inside that the doctors can't find it with all their machines and microcameras.” 2 likes
“No one answered. You could hear the light buzzing over us. I love that sound. It means school isn't working, that the teachers are losing the battle.” 1 likes
More quotes…