The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (1962)

Our family listened to The Wolves of Willoughby Chase on cassette tape during a car trip many years ago.  Our hearts pounded hour after hour!  And no one would get out of the car when we reached our destination and the book hadn’t finished yet!   We sat riveted as the harrowing events that befall Bonnie and her orphan cousin, Sylvia, unfolded.

Bonnie’s wealthy parents take a year-long sea voyage and leave the two girls in the care of a distant relative, Miss Letitia Slighcarp (you can tell she’s bad just by her name!).  Before the girls know what’s happened, Miss Slighcarp has sold all of the furniture, dismissed the servants and sent the two girls off to a prison-like orphanage.  And if that’s not terrible enough, packs of ravenous wolves are roaming the English countryside!


Although this is a creepy/scary book at times, there are some absolute laugh-out-loud moments too.  In fact, all these years later, my husband still quotes, “That should put some ginger in the old lady’s gravy!” every few months for one reason or another.

If you enjoy this book, you’ll be delighted to learn it is the first in a series of TWELVE books!  Wish I’d known that when my children were young. . .





The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1962), 192 pages

Blackhearts in Battersea (1964), 240 pages

Nightbirds on Nantucket (1966), 224 pages

The Whispering Mountainprequel to The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1968), 304 pages

The Cuckoo Tree (1971), 297 pages

Dido and Pa (1976), 304 pages

The Stolen Lake (1981), 321 pages

Is Underground (1992), 252 pages

Cold Shoulder Road (1995), 188 pages

Dangerous Games (1999), 256 pages

Midwinter Nightingale (2003), 256 pages

The Witch of Clatteringshaws (2005), 149 pages

Middle Grade Reading Level, 149 – 321 pages each, England, Fantasy, Published 1962 – 2005.


About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
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