TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Jessica Vitalis

Jessica Vitalis on The Wolf’s Curse

In this post, we feature author Jessica Vitalis. You can hear her speak about her debut novel, The Wolf’s Curse, and try her “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Author Jessica Vitalis and the cover of The Wolf's Curse

The Wolf’s Curse

  • Written by Jessica Vitalis
  • Published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
  • Release date: September 21, 2021

Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he cried Wolf and was accused of witchcraft. The Great White Wolf brings only death, Gauge’s superstitious village believes. If Gauge can see the Wolf, then he must be in league with it. So instead of playing with friends in the streets or becoming his grandpapa’s partner in the carpentry shop, Gauge must hide and pretend he doesn’t exist. But then the Wolf comes for his grandpapa. And for the first time, Gauge is left all alone, with a bounty on his head and the Wolf at his heels. A young feather collector named Roux offers Gauge assistance, and he is eager for the help. But soon the two—both recently orphaned—are questioning everything they have ever believed about their village, about the Wolf, and about death itself. Narrated by the sly, crafty Wolf, Jessica Vitalis’s debut novel is a vivid and literary tale about family, friendship, belonging, and grief.

From The Wolf’s Curse, written by Jessica Vitalis.

I trot through the narrow cobblestone streets of Bouge-by-the-Sea, feeling every one of my seven hundred winters. 

Read a longer excerpt from The Wolf’s Curse, written by Jessica Vitalis.

Explore The Wolf’s Curse

Listen to Jessica Vitalis talking with TeachingBooks about creating The Wolf’s Curse. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.


Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Jessica Vitalis.

Imagination Activity with Jessica Vitalis

Superstitions are false beliefs people hold about things they must do to prevent themselves or loved ones from being harmed or to prevent bad things from happening. In The Wolf’s Curse, shop owners believe they must flip their OPEN signs upside down in the evening to avoid calling The Great White Wolf (a Grim Reaper-like figure). The villagers also believe they must put a chicken out in front of their house the night a loved one dies so that the Wolf comes for the chicken and not for them. What other superstitions might these villagers hold in order to protect themselves from the Wolf?


Finish This Sentence . . . with Jessica Vitalis

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Jessica Vitalis’s response.

“Where I work…”

I have a laptop and can really work anywhere, but when I need quiet (and/or a second computer screen), I retreat to my home office.

Author Jessica Vitalis' study

Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Jessica Vitalis for signing a book for all of us.

The title page of The Wolf's Curse, signed by the author with the message, "Smooth Sailing."

More Connections to Jessica Vitalis and The Wolf’s Curse


Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

All text and images are courtesy of Jessica Vitalis and HarperCollins and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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