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Children's Fiction Fantasy & Magic

Laughing Wolf

by (author) Nicholas Maes

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2009
Fantasy & Magic, General, Other
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2009
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Short-listed for the 2010 Snow Willow Saskatchewan Young Reader’s Choice Award and for the 2010 Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award
It is the year 2213. Fifteen-year-old Felix Taylor is the last person on Earth who can speak and read Latin. In a world where technology has defeated war, crime, poverty, and famine, and time travel exists as a distinct possibility, Felix’s language skills and knowledge seem out of place and irrelevant.
But are they?
A mysterious plague has broken out. Scientists can’t stop its advance, and humanity is suddenly poised on the brink of eradication. The only possible cure is Lupus Ridens, or Laughing Wolf, a flower once common in ancient Rome but extinct for more than 2,000 years.
Felix must project back to Roman times circa 71 B.C. and retrieve the flower. But can he navigate through the dangers and challenges of the world of Spartacus, Pompey, and Cicero? And will he find the Laughing Wolf in time to save his family and everyone else from the Plague of Plagues?


About the author

Nicholas Maes is a high-school history teacher and also teaches classics at the University of Waterloo. His previous novels for young people are Crescent Star, Locksmith and Laughing Wolf, which was nominated for the Snow Willow Award. Maes is also the author of Robertson Davies: Magician of Words. He lives in Toronto.

Nicholas Maes' profile page


  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Young Reader's Choice Award - Snow Willow
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award

Editorial Reviews

Nicholas Maes is apparently one of those rare few who can pull off the time-travel trick. His new novel for young readers Laughing Wolf, is a strikingly original, with a convincing command of both future world-building and historical recreation ... Laughing Wolf is a page-turner rooted in careful history, vivid imaginings, and strongly formed characters. It raises many discussion-worthy questions on the nature of history and liberty, on emotion versus intellect, and on the role of the state and of the individual. It's an impressive work that, though intended for kids, can be enjoyed by readers of just about any age.


Quill & Quire

[A]n enticing and enjoyable book for younger readers.


The Telegram

... a popular read for most middle school and junior high school students.


Maes is at his best when describing Roman culture, and Felix's interactions with these great historical figures are fun.

School Library Journal

What Maes does extremely well is to challenge his readers to consider the roles that history and religion play in our lives, and to understand how vital emotion and memory actually is. Whether you’re a history buff or a sci-fi fan, these novels are entertaining and thought-provoking, and well-worth offering to tween readers.

Other titles by Nicholas Maes