Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Zoe Si
Tundra Books, 2017. Intermediate. 84 p.
Renata Wolfman is called Wolfie by her classmates because she’s a lone wolf - a misanthrope, wary of change, happy to be on her own. Her neighbor Livingston Flott, called Fly, is another loner, though not by choice. When he barges in on her quiet afternoon, Wolfie is annoyed. But Fly, a rambunctious, unstoppable force, takes Wolfie's cardboard submarine (which she built for purely educational reasons) and creates an adventure in make-believe that changes Wolfie’s reluctant mind in more than one way.
This J Intermediate chapter book clips along with a fun energy. Its premise is simple, the writing is snappy and straightforward, and the book’s treatment of imagination as fluid, all-encompassing, and irresistible is exciting to experience. Lots of books in the children’s section are about imaginative children which makes Wolfie’s resistance to playing pretend interesting, especially when that resistance gets swept up in a larger-than-life undersea adventure. With two misfits as the main characters, Wolfie & Fly makes a case for befriending people who might as well be your exact opposite. It’s good to be self-sufficient, but new friends can expand your entire world.