From critically acclaimed Shaun David Hutchinson comes a gritty and raw portrayal of the oftentimes traumatic experience of growing up.
Virgil Knox was attacked by a monster.
Of course, no one in Merritt believes him. Not even after he stumbled into the busy town center, bleeding, battered, and bruised, for everyone to see. He’d been drinking, they said. He was hanging out where he wasn’t supposed to, they said. It must’ve been a bear, or a badger, or a gator—definitely no monster.
Virgil doesn’t think it was any of those things. He’s positive it was a monster. But being the new kid in a town where everybody knows everybody is hard enough as it is without being the kid who’s afraid of monsters, so he tries to keep a low profile.
Except he knows the monster is still out there. And if he isn’t careful, Virgil’s afraid it’ll come back to finish him off, or worse—that he’ll become one himself.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
★ “Hutchinson never misses a beat in this gripping, thought-provoking novel.”
–Booklist starred review
“Virgil’s first-person narration is relatable and sincere, the vividly sketched characters—most of whom cue white—are realistically flawed, and Hutchinson writes with poignancy, urgency, and compassion.”
“The monster attack is a clear metaphor for sexual assault and, in its aftermath, for victim-blaming, proving once again that Hutchinson is not afraid to explore the darker corners of the adolescent experience.”
–Horn Book Magazine
“Virgil’s path to this new version of himself is a compelling one that readers will find authentic and insightful.”
–Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
HOWL contains the following: