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Artie and the Wolf Moon

Artie and the Wolf Moon
Olivia Stephens By (author)
Olivia Stephens Illustrated by
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Lerner Publishing Group

Limited ***

6.0 X 9.0 in
256 pg

JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Paranormal


101 Great Books for Kids — 2021 — Winner
ALA Best Graphic Novels for Children Reading List — 2022 — Nominated
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books — 2021 — Winner
Cybils — 2021 — Nominated
Junior Library Guild Selection — 2021 — Winner
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens — 2021 — Nominated


“A heartfelt, magical family drama you can really sink your teeth into.” —Nilah Magruder, M.F.K.

After sneaking out against her mother's wishes, Artie Irvin spots a massive wolf—then watches it don a bathrobe and transform into her mom. Thrilled to discover she comes from a line of werewolves, Artie asks her mom to share everything—including the story of Artie's late father. Her mom reluctantly agrees. And to help Artie figure out her own wolflike abilities, her mom recruits some old family friends.

Artie thrives in her new community and even develops a crush on her new friend Maya. But as she learns the history of werewolves and her own parents' past, she'll find that wolves aren't the scariest thing in the woods—vampires are.

"A breath of fresh air. . . . Full of robust characters, dynamic panels, and immersive landscapes, this coming-of-age story of family and the supernatural is one any reader will have a hard time putting down."—Shannon Wright, Twins

"A book of cycles—love, loss, reunion, redemption. Readers will thoroughly enjoy getting lost in the beautifully rendered forests."—Wendy Xu, Mooncakes

"A love letter to the power of family to help you grow, heal, and find yourself. . . . As rich and immersive as a big family dinner."—Melanie Gillman, Stage Dreams

“An absolutely gorgeous, thrilling read.”—Blue Delliquanti, O Human Star

“Heartbreaking and heart mending.”—Priya Huq, Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab


"In this coming-of-age story, Black girl Artemis Irvin deals with troubles that a lot of other eighth graders might be able to identify with—racist bullies at school, an overprotective mom, and a father who died before she was born. But one night Artie discovers a more unique challenge: she's descended from werewolves. While the story handles the traditional clash of werewolves and vampires with a few fascinating twists, the relationships are the heart of this graphic novel. Secrets from the past still haunt Artie's mom, and meeting other werewolves brings up old wounds. In the end, all the characters discover that they are stronger together. Natural landscapes provide a gorgeous backdrop for the story, and nighttime scenes, when not full of threatening vampires, are cozy with moments between Artie and her new friend and crush, Maya. Stephens' use of color is particularly striking, using red to highlight the werewolves' supernatural abilities and to emphasize their passion and power. A wonderful tale of friendship, family, and forgiveness."—BooklistJournal

"A girl discovers she comes from a family of werewolves, starting her on a path to discovering her own abilities and history.

Black eighth grader Artemis 'Artie' Irvin doesn't really fit in with the kids at her mostly White school, where she is mocked and bullied. She devotes her time to developing photos she takes on her deceased father's old film camera, which helps her feel closer to him. All that changes after she sneaks out for a nighttime photo shoot during a full moon and runs into a wolf. Calling her mom for help, she instead sees her mother transform from wolf to human before her eyes. Soon after, her powers show themselves, and her own wolf training begins. Artie's mother reaches out to a community of Black werewolves who are old friends for help. As Artie trains with them, she develops ties to those like her—and something more with her friend and crush, Maya. She also learns about the origins and culture of werewolves and the history of her parents' relationship. But danger lurks nearby, and Artie must stay alert. Stephens' art leaps off the page, from the beautiful scenery to the celebration of characters' Black features. Throughout, the [P]anels are expertly used to create tension in dramatic moments and excitement that showcases the joyous ones. Readers looking for a story of discovery and healing wrapped in the paranormal will hit the jackpot.

A stirring, eye-catching portrayal of growth."—Kirkus ReviewsJournal

"When Artie disobeys her mom and sneaks out after dark to photograph a full moon, she discovers that her mother is a werewolf—and so is Artie. They return to her mom's hometown, home to a werewolf pack, so Artie can learn about her history. She soon realizes that there are things more sinister than werewolves and uncovers details about her father's disappearance while making new friendships and love interests. This exciting, plot-driven story will appeal to young teens struggling to find themselves and fit in. While Artie's quick acceptance that her mother is a werewolf seems a bit unbelievable, readers will easily overlook it. Artie is well developed; the supporting characters are less fleshed out but help move the action forward. The complicated family history and dynamics among some of the adults are genuine and relatable. The full-color, realistic illustrations are appealing, and the palette helps establish the tone for the different settings. Artie and her mother are Black. VERDICT Fans of graphic novels, realistic fiction, and the paranormal will all find something to enjoy in this book. Suggest it to those who devoured Emma Steinkellner's The Okay Witch."—School Library JournalJournal

"In Oregon, Black eighth grader Artemis 'Artie' Irvin lives with her park ranger mother and attends Rosedale Middle School, where she spends much of her time in her school's darkroom, developing photos she's taken with her late father's camera and avoiding her racist, bullying white classmates. When an illicit late-night jaunt for full moon photographs results in Artie seeing a wolf outside her house, her world is swiftly upended, particularly once the wolf transforms back into her mother. As late bloomer Artie learns about her ancestors, she soon realizes she has a heightened sense of smell, and eventually transforms into a werewolf herself. Meeting fellow Black werewolves from her mother's hometown—including Maya, a new friend and crush—Artie discovers more about the father she never knew, as well as the wolves' sworn enemies. Debut graphic novelist Stephens offers boldly outlined, dynamic full-color art, with lovable, distinct, and expressive Black characters and sweepingly cinematic panel progression. This vibrant, fast-paced werewolf tale rejuvenates the genre with themes of Black family, community, and history, offering accessible dialogue and reimagining the folklore of werewolves with a striking premise that has a tremendous payoff."—starred, Publishers WeeklyJournal

Author Bio

Olivia Stephens is a graphic novelist, illustrator, and writer from the Pacific Northwest. Artie and the Wolf Moon is her debut graphic novel. She has illustrated for a number of publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and FIYAH Literary Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. Olivia graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. When not drawing, she enjoys eating spicy foods and losing her voice at rock concerts.

Olivia Stephens is a comic artist and illustrator based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned her BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017, and is a 2019-20 Literary Fellow for the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.