Book Review | She Named Me Wolf by Tenkara Smart

She Named Me Wolf: A story of survival, friendship & the power of imagination. (The Many Lives of Wolf Book 1)

Title: She Named Me Wolf
Tenkara Smart
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Wolf is growing up in an abusive home, and only a ghost from a past life, his imaginary friends, and his martial arts teacher will help him survive this lifetime.

Wolf lives in constant fear of his unpredictable, alcoholic father. To survive, Wolf relies on his best friend Polly, who happens to be a ghost, as well as the animals in his yard, using his imagination and memories from his past life as a samurai warrior to overcome the odds.

Eventually, Wolf must make a choice to stay in this life or move on, and only Polly can help him make the right decision.

She Named Me Wolf is book one in the series The Many Lives of Wolf and is the first glimpse into one soul’s physical experience as they seek out the light in the darkness.


This is not a children’s book, even though the book follows a character going through the transition between child and teen. The author may have written about the physical abuse in the story in a way that can be seen as gentle but it is still too frightening a story for a young reader. As well as this the swearing and a couple of darker scenes indicate towards the book being aimed at a young adult audience. However, I can see how this book may help a young reader who is experiencing something quite similar.

Swearing is something we see in todays society and it is very present in this novel. I do believe that the author’s use of swearing in the book makes the story more realistic as it shows what would typically be said in an abusive household. The book begins with name-calling and swear words are introduced further long and near the end of the storyline. To be honest, the words used were used in context and they do give the storyline authenticity. I could even say that the author watered down a lot of the terms that she used. She Named Me Wolf is a story of friendship and growth. It has unforgettable characters and brings a new light on abusers and victims alike.

The main character, Wolf, has a very difficult life at home, and the person – or should I say ghost – that helped Wolf cope and survive was a phantom by the name of Polly. As well as this Wolf has a very strong relationship with his martial arts instructor who is committed to helping Wolf defend himself. As we go further into the story, we also find out that Wolf believes that he was a samurai warrior in a past life, which is how the author explains him excelling at karate at a young age. The author does a wonderful job of writing about his adventures with his imaginary friends and the positive experiences that Wolf experiences even whilst writing about such a tough topic. The book is inspiring, uplifting, and even educational as readers watch Wolf and Polly grow. The book is the first in a series by Tenkara Smart and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author

Tenkara Smart

Tenkara’s first book, She Named Me Wolf, is being described as “magical”, “intriguing”, “…gave me goose bumps,” and, “I loved it!” In her book series The Many Lives of Wolf, Tenkara pulls on her belief that we are all spiritual beings living a physical experience, learning all we can to reach new levels of awareness.

Tenkara Smart graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor in English Literature, minor in Creative Writing, which took her to a role unrelated to writing (as often happens) and into senior leadership for a US based running store. Tenkara later moved with the love-of-her-life Aussie husband to Doha, Qatar, and then on to Melbourne, Australia.

A former surfer in SoCal, Tenkara is now chicken to surf the waters of Australia for fear of being bitten by a shark, stung by a jellyfish, or who knows what else!

Feedback from the Author

Thank you for the insightful and well-written review. There is nothing better for an author than to know that a reader, like yourself, enjoyed the novel. Cheers and sincerest thanks again for reading She Named Me Wolf, and I hope you’ll read the next book in the series about the samurai warrior, Junsaku, which will be released later this year.

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