On a frosty winter’s day, Francis—the sweet, generous, responsible eldest child of the Harrelson family—dies in a car accident on an ice-covered highway, and Wolf Boy is born.
The earth doesn’t rumble, no angels descend, and the sun doesn’t weep. Nothing, in short, to signify the deep change that each member of the Harrelson household will undergo. Parents Gene and Helen turn away from each other and look inward, losing themselves in private fantasies. Ten-year-old Crispy devises elaborate strategies for her escape from the suffocating clutch of the Harrelson home and into the waiting arms of pop star Marky Mark.
But the heart of this family portrait is younger brother Stephen, who, along with his quirky and creative friend Nicole, crafts an alternative reality in which their comic book hero, Wolf Boy, battles the forces of evil, champions the powers of good, and fights to keep his family intact. Through Wolf Boy, Stephen finds an outlet for his grief and a concrete expression for his place in a family spiraling out of control and for all the natural yearnings and hopes of a typical thirteen-year-old. Wolf Boy’s adventures are featured throughout the book, introducing a graphic-novel subplot that adds humor and visual interest and stretches the limits of the conventional novel.
With warmth, humor, hope, and empathy, Evan Kuhlman’s debut novel is truly unforgettable and signals a fresh new voice in today’s fiction.
About the Author
Evan Kuhlman’s stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Salt Hill, The Madison Review, Third Coast, and The Vincent Brothers Review. He is the winner of the Short-Story Award for New Writers and several journalism prizes. This is his first novel. He lives in Ohio.
Identical twin illustrators Brendon and Brian Fraim are best known for their clean line style in the Knights of the Dinner Table: Illustrated comic book. Visit them at brosfraim.com.
Praise for Wolf Boy…
“I dipped into Evan Kuhlman’s Wolf Boy and couldn’t put it down. Interspersed throughout the pages of this imaginative and compelling novel is a unique graphic novel, cleverly drawn by Brendon and Brian Fraim, making Wolf Boy a rare treat.” —Stan Lee, comic book legend
“Wolf Boy is absolutely beguiling. Evan Kuhlman has boundless empathy for all his characters, and his wonderful protagonist Stephen is, in turn, boundlessly inventive. . . . This is an auspicious debut.” —Valerie Sayers, author of Who Do You Love
“Rarely is the pain of losing someone expressed with such directness, energy, and, yes, humor. The grief in Evan Kuhlman’s Wolf Boy is palpable and so is the flawed, honest humanity of his characters. Here is real loss and, somehow, real catharsis.” —Peter Orner, author of Esther Stories
“An air of sweet sorrow mixed with hope suffuses Evan Kuhlman’s remarkable first novel . . . . Stephen Harrelson . . . is one of the most engaging adolescents to grace the pages of American fiction in a very long time.” —Eric Goodman, author of Child of My Right Hand
“Kuhlman draws careful, exacting portraits. . . . [He is] a fine stylist with an excellent eye and ear.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Kuhlman wryly dissects seemingly innocent moments. . . . The novel offers inventive twists on the story of a boy trying to save his own world.” —Publishers Weekly