This book is recommended for grades 4-6. As always, it is the guidance of an adult that might help make this book work for younger children as well.
As a teacher and a parent, it is difficult not to see the metaphor of the need for wolf wilders in our own environment. Often we must take children who have been tamed by academics and reintroduce them to the world of play where they will learn the social skills of their own age groups instead of those of adults. When we reintroduce play and reading for one's own pleasure, we transform children into open-minded learners who stoke their flames of curiosity. These untamed children will be the inventors of our time.
Rundell's story evokes an age of fairy tales where wolves take center stage and are feared by all but those who identify with their true selves. The book reminded me a great deal of Ursu's Breadcrumbs because I regularly stopped to think about what things meant within the story and outside of the story. It is an adventure and it is an allegory. Like all good stories, it becomes what you bring to it. For me it was a story about a girl and the power she has to give other people the power they have as long as she recognizes and embraces being human.