GRAY WOLF ISLAND
Author: Tracey Neithercott
Pub. Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.
With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.
As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.
From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.
Elliot drops to the ground beside the fire. It casts him in shadow, a black slash with stooped shoulders. He doesn’t say a thing. Just sucks up all our joy like an emotional black hole.
“Hey, Elliot,” I say. “Mind toning down the excitement? Some of us are trying to have a miserable time here.”
He meets my gaze. Opens his mouth like he’s ready to share. Like he hasn’t kept us in suspense for an entire eternity.
But he says silent.
“He gets like this.” Charlie glances from me to Anne. “Don’t worry—he’s mostly harmless. Unless you’re allergic to brooding looks or clenched jaws.”
“You really never know,” Anne says.
“Well, I know, and I’m deathly allergic,” Charlie says. “Get me out of here, Anna Banana, before I go into anaphylactic shock.”
They zoom toward the shack, Gabe tripping after them. Charlie’s laughter catches on the night breeze, and I know I’ll never forget the sound, not even after he’s gone.
I peek across the fire at the Elliot-shaped shade. “Are you just going to sit there?”
“No. I was going to come over.” And he does. “I was always going to come over. Sometimes it takes my body a long time to catch up to my brain.”
He tosses a handful of pine needles into the fire. The air smells sweet like Christmas. “Tell me something I don’t know.”
“Oh God, Elliot. Is there even such a thing?”
He rolls his eyes. Nudges my foot with his. “Tell me a story about you and Sadie.”
He might as well ask for my entire heart. “When I was fourteen,” I say, “I snuck down to the beach in the middle of the night to see the sky.”
“To see the Perseid meteor shower.” He delivers a hesitant smile. “I heard Sadie telling someone about it that Monday. It’s just . . . I was out there, too.”
“See? There’s not a single thing you don’t know.”
“I don’t know your version.”
“I guarantee it’s not nearly as exciting as Sadie’s,” I say. “I walked a ways down the beach, and when it was time to come home, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do, so I walked toward a light.”
I toss handfuls and handfuls of needles into the fire. Take a deep breath of pine-scented night. “Sadie had woken up and seen my empty bed. And she flicked our bedroom light on and off to help me find my way home.”
“She was your North Star,” Elliot says.
“No, not even. She was like the entire night sky, everything from stardust to galaxies.” I turn to find him already looking at me. “Imagine the universe winking out in a day.”
I’m the author of Gray Wolf Island, a YA novel about the truth, a treasure, and five teens searching for both. Coming fall 2017 from Knopf/Random House.