Lone Wolf – Book 2 in the Oldenglen Series by Robin Mason

“Hunted. That was the sensation: the feeling of being hunted. Hunted down. Terror gripped his wolven side. But even the part of him that was human felt the loss of freedom. He felt suffocated.”

For Jackson, being a new student entering the seventh-grade at Bear Creek Valley Middle School in Ashland, Oregon is challenging. Even though English is the common language between the U.S. and England, he feels like an alien in this different land in the foothills of the mountains.

His summer was an adjustment learning to live with the wildlife in their remote home away from the small town. The magic of nature and this particular place developed into a friendship with the granddaughter of his nearest neighbor and landlord.

Making friends is always a little awkward for Jax. He is comfortable with animals, but teenagers can be a challenge for anyone. Also Jax is a little different. He spent his summer learning about his new habitat but people are a little more complex.

Noah observes Jax holding a wren on his finger in the middle of a group of girls. He states that he is saving the girls and throws the wren against a window.

Jax immediately verbally attacks Noah revealing a part of him that needs to stay hidden. Noah is much bigger and older and has friends who treat him like a leader.

Miraculously, after Jax holds the injured bird, it can fly away. Jax feels relieved. Noah, angry, calling Jax, a Freak. Is Noah jealous of Jax’s attention from the girls or did he see something that scared him?

Noah wants revenge. For what, saving a bird? Making him look bad in front of a bunch of girls?

Noah also is good friends with three other boys who like to bully other students. Four against one are not great odds for Jax. How can one seventh-grade boy fight four eighth-graders?

For tweens, having thirty-one chapters is perfect for young readers. Also unique about this series is that the books are boy-oriented. Most literature for this age-group is girl-based.

Lone Wolf is an excellent fantasy adventure for eight to twelve-year-olds. The story is appropriate for tweens with issues of bullying and an overlying theme of friendship. Learning the value of being one with nature and preserving the wildlife and their habitats is also a major component throughout this series.

While recommended for young readers, Lone Wolf has lessons for everyone of all ages.

Rogue Wolf

Oldenglen is a special place near Jax’s home in southern Oregon. Having his life uprooted from life in England was difficult for him. However, school wasn’t his salvation, but the magical relationship he discovered with this unique forest and the creatures who live within as well as the trust and friendship with each other.

Keeping the area protected is always a constant challenge. With the ever-expanding new housing developments for humans threatening the natural habitats of the wild creatures while keeping the balance of nature between the expanding population of people and nature.

Balances within Oldenglen are also difficult to maintain. Providing food for all creatures requires just the correct proportion between predators and prey. Too many prey demands massive amounts of plants and small creatures, while predators must depend on an abundance of prey, otherwise they starve.

Oldenglen now is facing two challenges.

The first involves some new visitors, eleven wolves. The problem is that this area of the glen cannot possibly feed that many without decimating the population of the prey animals. How does anyone convince the wolves to leave the area? How many creatures will be food for this pack?With their needs for food, the local ranchers raising sheep and cows are fearful for the survival of their herds. They see the only solution is to have the wolves killed.

Another problem bothering Jax and Sarah is the existence of two nearby poachers who are renting from Sarah’s grandfather. Can they possibly save the young eagle that was captured?

Rogue Wolf is the third book in this projected five book series. This Oldenglen series should be read in order. Minimally, all readers need to read the first book, Oldenglen to understand the characters and their relationships and history individually and with each other.

Oldenglen, the first book in the series has been the recipient of many awards including a Silver Medal at the 2016 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards for The Bill Fisher Award for the Best First Book: Children’s Young Adult, and Second Place in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2015/2016 for ages 12-16.

Book Two, Lone Wolf also won numerous awards. It was a Red Ribbon Winner in The Wishing Shelf Book, a finalist in the 2016 Foreward Indies for Juvenile Fiction, a Silver Medalist in the 2017 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards for Young Readers, and an Honorable Mention in the Readers Views Literary Awards 2016/2017.

In all these books, including this one, all the characters are believable and realistic including the animals which stay true to the creature and have personalities while magically communicating with Jax.

With the theme of balance, friendship, and anti-bullying, the pace is quick with the reader wanting more with their cliff-hanging chapter ends and the book truly expressing the harmony of nature.

Even the cover is beautifully illustrated by artist, Chris Beatrice.

The Oldenglen series was begun by author Robin Mason and his father, Michael Mason. Robin completed books two and three completely by himself. Robin was born in England but spent considerable time in his childhood exploring an estate in British Columbia while his father read to him numerous books including The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, The Wind in the Willows, The Hobbit, and The Lord of The Rings trilogy.

This book is recommended for children from ages eight to twelve. Personally, I would find this book challenging for an eight-year old to read independently and believe this age level would thoroughly enjoy it as a read-aloud.

I also recommend this book be extended to readers through high school. In actuality readers of all ages, adult and children would completely enjoy Rogue Wolf.