A Place for Wolves

320p. Sourcebooks/Fire. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492673651.
RedReviewStarGr 8 Up—James Mills has traveled extensively around the world. He is the adopted son of an engineer dad and a doctor mom, who also happen to serve as USAID workers. They find themselves in Kosovo, where his identity as a gay African American teen makes him stand out. He writes numerous letters to his sister and best friend, Anna, a student at Georgetown University, which are peppered throughout. James describes the evolution of his romance with Portuguese Brazilian aspiring engineer Tomas Sousa in these missives. In alternating chapters, readers follow James and Tomas as their world is shattered by the Kosovo War. They go on the run after finding a note from Mom, instructing James to go to the U.S. embassy. The teens face numerous obstacles set against the war's backdrop. Jackson has masterfully woven action, drama,and history in this fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down debut. The author presents a nuanced depiction of an LGBTQ romance between two teens of color within an action-packed survival tale. The historical context of the Kosovo War is fleshed out accurately without overwhelming readers. Jackson provides opportunities for teens to see that there are multiple sides to the story of the war, especially with Abad and Professor Beqiri. Some sensitive young adults may find the violence and torture scenes difficult to read. James's voice is poignant and unique in his letters to Anna and in the overall narrative.
VERDICT This is a much-needed novel by a refreshing voice in YA literature. A must-have for all collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing