A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

French / France

Les remplaçants
(The replacements)

Guasti, Gaia (text)
[Paris]: Ed. Thierry Magnier, 2014. – 259 p.
(Series: La voix de la meute; 1)
ISBN 978-2-36474-460-8

Wolf – Human – Transformation – Instinct – Coming of age

After the (ritual) bite of three wolves, Mila, Ludo and Tristan transform themselves into shape-shifters who switch between human and wolf existences. The new experience bonds the three very different friends together, while at the same time testing their friendships. Will they understand this magical transformation? Must they choose to live as one or the other creature? Gaia Guasti (born in Italy in 1974, emigrated to France at age eighteen) utilises persuasive metaphors to capture the transgressions and ambivalences of adolescence, that oscillating transition state “between dog and wolf”. “Les remplaçants” is the strong first entry of a trilogy, far removed from bland mainstream YA werewolf tales. Challenging and suspenseful, Guasti’s narrative text contains a hint of fantasy, formulates interesting questions about evolutionary bonds between human and animal, and questions our understanding of human will, responsibility and instinct. (Age: 12+)