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''This is Not a Werewolf Story'' is a middle-grade novel by Sandra Evans, a professor in Medieval French Literature. It is loosely based on ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}}'' and was written with input from Evans’ own son.

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''This is Not a Werewolf Story'' is a middle-grade [[MiddleGradeLiterature middle-grade]] novel by Sandra Evans, a professor in Medieval French Literature. It is loosely based on ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}}'' and was written with input from Evans’ own son.

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* AnimalNamingConventions: In an odd example of this trope, Raul often uses "White Wolf" as if it was his mother's actual name. Likewise [[spoiler:Raul's father]] never thinks of calling his two wolf roommates as anything but their respective colors.


* CannotKeepASecret: [[spoiler:Vincent]]. At least, unless it’s one of his own.

to:

* CannotKeepASecret: [[spoiler:Vincent]].Vincent. At least, unless it’s one of his own.



* IJustWantToBeNormal: [[spoiler:Vincent could apparently become a raven shapeshifter, but doesn’t want to]].

to:

* IJustWantToBeNormal: [[spoiler:Vincent Vincent could apparently become a raven shapeshifter, but doesn’t want to]].
to.



* LittleBitBeastly: [[UnreliableNarrator Despite insisting]] that he's a normal human boy when he changes back from a wolf, Raul has a mild case of SuperSenses and SuperStrength, as well as unusually sharp teeth and “scary eyes” in his human form. [[spoiler:These traits are amplified by the Fresnal lens]].

to:

* LittleBitBeastly: [[UnreliableNarrator Despite insisting]] that he's a normal human boy when he changes back from a wolf, Raul has a mild case of SuperSenses and SuperStrength, as well as unusually sharp teeth and “scary eyes” in his human form. [[spoiler:These These traits are amplified by the Fresnal lens]].lens.



* MyInstinctsAreShowing: At one point Raul, having just turned back to human, runs away from Tuffman on all fours. Afterwards he feels ashamed for giving into his wolf instincts in human form, though insists that it was also a conscious choice.
** [[spoiler:The Fresnal lens makes Raul stronger, but also makes him act more animalistic in human form]].

* NeverMyFault: Vincent’s worst trait is that he’ll never fess up after he’s done something wrong, even if he feels guilty and it means letting somebody else take the blame. [[spoiler:He finally does say "sorry" to both Raul and his father after getting Raul trapped in wolf form for months]].

to:

* MyInstinctsAreShowing: At one point Raul, having just turned back to human, runs away from Tuffman on all fours. Afterwards he feels ashamed for giving into his letting Tuffman see him "like a wolf instincts in human form, wearing the skin of a boy," though insists that it was also a conscious choice.
** [[spoiler:The The Fresnal lens makes Raul stronger, but also makes him act more animalistic aggressive even in human form]].

form.

* NeverMyFault: Vincent’s worst trait is that he’ll never fess up after he’s done something wrong, even if he feels guilty and it means letting somebody else take the blame. [[spoiler:He finally does say "sorry" starts to both Raul and his father after getting Raul trapped in wolf form for months]].
overcome this by the end]].



** Raul's father is also ''furious'' when he discovers that [[spoiler:Vincent let Raul be trapped in wolf form for months]].

to:

** Raul's father is also ''furious'' when he discovers that [[spoiler:Vincent let Raul be trapped in wolf form kept the secret about Raul's disappearance for months]].so long]].



* SchrodingersCanon: The book does not reveal Raul's last name or exact age, though Evans [[https://querytracker.net/success/sandra_evans.php revealed one of her query letters]] that refers to him as "10 year old Raul [[MeaningfulName Bisclavret]]."



* SuperSenses: Raul ([[spoiler:and Tuffman]]) seem to have unusually good hearing and smell even in human form.

to:

* SuperSenses: Shapeshifters like Raul ([[spoiler:and Tuffman]]) seem to have unusually good hearing and smell even in human form.


Added DiffLines:

** [[spoiler:Tuffman, a cougar, is really named ''Lion''el]].

Added DiffLines:

* ShapeshifterDefaultForm: It's not really explained, but shapeshifters have a "first skin" and "second skin;" Raul is human in his first skin, but [[spoiler:his mom and Dean Swift]] have that as their second skins. Whether this indicates the form that they were born as is unclear.


Raul lives at a boarding school for kids who have trouble at home. He makes a point of rarely talking and generally only associates with the younger students. He does befriend the school’s newest student, Vincent, and has a crush on Mary Anne, one of the friendlier girls. He also likes most of the teachers, though the school coach, Tuffman, seems to hate him for unknown reasons.

On the weekend, the students at the school all go home to their families, except Raul. He finds family a different way: by using the magic of the nearby woods to [[VoluntaryShapeshifting turn into a wolf]], where he meets White Wolf, whom he believes to be his MissingMom [[ShapeshifterModeLock trapped in animal form]]. And unfortunately, the two of them have competition from another predator now prowling the forest...

to:

Raul Raul, who suffered ParentalNeglect from his depressed father, lives at a boarding school for kids who have trouble at home. personal problems. He makes a point of rarely talking and generally only associates with the younger students.kids. He does befriend the school’s newest student, Vincent, and has a crush on Mary Anne, one of the friendlier girls. He also likes most of the teachers, though the school coach, Tuffman, seems to hate him for unknown reasons.

On the weekend, the students at the school all go everyone goes home to their families, except Raul. He finds family a different way: by using the magic of the nearby woods to [[VoluntaryShapeshifting turn into a wolf]], where he meets White Wolf, whom he believes to be his MissingMom [[ShapeshifterModeLock trapped in animal form]]. And unfortunately, the two of them have competition from another predator a cougar now prowling around the forest...



* MamaBear: White Wolf can be a Mama ''Wolf'' when Raul is threatened.



* MyInstinctsAreShowing: At one point Raul, having just turned back to human, runs away from Tuffman on all fours. He indicates both that this was his wolf instincts but also a conscious choice, though he feels ashamed of doing it afterwards.
** [[spoiler:The Fresnal lens makes Raul stronger, but also more animalistic even in human form]].

to:

* MyInstinctsAreShowing: At one point Raul, having just turned back to human, runs away from Tuffman on all fours. He indicates both that this was Afterwards he feels ashamed for giving into his wolf instincts but in human form, though insists that it was also a conscious choice, though he feels ashamed of doing it afterwards.
choice.
** [[spoiler:The Fresnal lens makes Raul stronger, but also makes him act more animalistic even in human form]].



* NobleWolf: Most of the time, though Raul and White Wolf veer into SavageWolf at some points.

to:

* NobleWolf: Most of the time, though Raul and White Wolf veer into sometimes hover between GoodIsNotSoft and outright SavageWolf at some points.
when threatened.



* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When suffering from a concussion, Raul becomes more paranoid and emotional, which is only heightened by stress from Bobo’s injury. [[spoiler:This leads to him lashing out against Sparrow for losing the fishing pole that Raul made him]].
** As in ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}},'' the fact that a wolf acts perfectly tame most of the time but reacts violently to a certain person helps people figure out that something is unusual.

to:

* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When suffering from a concussion, Raul becomes more paranoid and emotional, which is only heightened by stress from about the cougar and Bobo’s injury. [[spoiler:This leads to him lashing out against Sparrow for losing the fishing pole that Raul made carved him]].
** As in ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}},'' the fact that a wolf acts perfectly tame most of the time but reacts violently to a certain person helps people figure out that something unusual is unusual.going on.



* PlaceOfPower: White Deer Woods. The lighthouse is specifically Raul’s “threshold,” the special place where he can shift to and from animal form.

to:

* PlaceOfPower: White Deer Woods. The lighthouse is specifically Raul’s “threshold,” the special place where he can shift to and from animal form. [[spoiler:The Blackout Tunnel seems to be Tuffman's]].



* PrecociousCrush: Raul plans to marry one of Dean Swift’s three teenage daughters when grows up. (Or Mary Anne, who’s his own age, but amusingly he sees ''her'' as the long shot.)

to:

* PrecociousCrush: Raul plans to marry one of Dean Swift’s three teenage daughters when grows up. (Or Mary Anne, who’s his own age, but amusingly he sees ''her'' as the long shot.)



* RaisedByGrandparents: Sparrow, since his mother’s abuse came to light.

to:

* RaisedByGrandparents: Sparrow, since Sparrow lives with his grandmother after his mother’s abuse came comes to light.



* ReformedButRejected: [[spoiler:Vincent]] does the right thing in the end, but Raul admits that he has yet to completely forgive him.

to:

* ReformedButRejected: [[spoiler:Vincent]] does the right thing in the end, but Raul admits that he has yet finds it hard to completely forgive him.



* ShapeshifterModeLock: Raul believes that the white wolf that he sees during his transformations is his MissingMom, having somehow undergone this. [[spoiler:Then Raul is trapped for a few months when Vincent steals his clothes, though he at least gets turned back. Tuffman gets sent to a zoo for the rest of his life]].

to:

* ShapeshifterModeLock: Raul believes that the white wolf that he sees during his transformations is his MissingMom, having somehow undergone this. [[spoiler:Then Raul is trapped for a few months "couple months" when Vincent steals his clothes, though he at least gets turned back. Tuffman gets sent to a zoo for the rest of his life]].



* TheSmartGuy: Mary Anne, who also seems to be trying to act far more intellectual than any kid her age should.

* StacysMom: All of the older boys have this reaction when they first see Vincent’s mom without her motorcycle helmet. Raul’s narration repeatedly refers to her as “Pretty Lady.”

to:

* TheSmartGuy: Mary Anne, who also seems to be [[ActingYourIntellectualAge trying to act far more intellectual than any a kid her age should.should]].

* StacysMom: All of the older boys have this reaction when they first see Vincent’s mom without her motorcycle helmet. Raul’s narration repeatedly refers to even uses "Pretty Lady" as if it was her as “Pretty Lady.”
name.



* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Raul's transformations involve following a specific formula, which is part of the reason that he argues it’s different than ([[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent most common depictions of]]) a werewolf.

to:

* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Raul's transformations involve following a specific formula, which is part of the reason that he argues it’s that he's different than ([[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent most common depictions of]]) a werewolf.



* WhiteWolvesAreSpecial: White Wolf, whom Raul believes to be his MissingMom. We eventually learn that white shapeshifters are “spirit animals,” though details about them remain hidden.

to:

* WhiteWolvesAreSpecial: White Wolf, whom Raul believes to be his MissingMom. We eventually learn that white some shapeshifters become white "spirit animals," which are “spirit animals,” though details about them remain hidden.somehow different than others. White Wolf actually used to have gray fur, like Raul himself.


* ParentalNeglect: Raul's father became so depressed after his wife's disappearance that he often forgot to bring Raul to school, and when a social worker came by Raul was dirty, wearing clothes that were too small and eating his bowl of cereal on the floor. Nowadays he’s stopped picking Raul up from boarding school on the weekends. [[spoiler:This is actually because he was getting fake letters indicating that Raul didn’t want to see him]].
** Mary Anne’s parents seem to be more traditional, {{Workaholic}} kind.

to:

* PapaWolf: [[IncrediblyLamePun Even when he's not a wolf]], Raul is this to the younger kids, especially Sparrow.
** Dean Swift is very protective of all the students under his care, often because of mistreatment or neglect from their actual parents.
** Raul's father is also ''furious'' when he discovers that [[spoiler:Vincent let Raul be trapped in wolf form for months]].

* ParentalNeglect: Raul's father became so depressed after his wife's disappearance that he often forgot to bring Raul to school, and when a social worker came by Raul was dirty, wearing clothes that were too small and eating his bowl of cereal on the floor. Nowadays he’s stopped picking Raul up from boarding school on the weekends. [[spoiler:This is actually because he was getting fake letters from Tuffman, indicating that Raul didn’t want to see him]].
** Mary Anne’s parents seem to be more traditional, {{Workaholic}} traditional kind.



* PlaceOfPower: White Deer Woods. The lighthouse is specifically Raul’s “threshold,” the special place where he can transform.

to:

* ParentsInDistress: Raul spends much of the book trying to save his mother from the cougar, especially since he knows how to get powered up by the Fresnal lens and she doesn't. The book ends with him also wanting to return her to human form, now that he knows that it's possible.

* PlaceOfPower: White Deer Woods. The lighthouse is specifically Raul’s “threshold,” the special place where he can transform.shift to and from animal form.



* PapaWolf: Raul, toward the younger kids; Dean Swift, toward all his students (often from their own parents); and [[spoiler:Raul's father]] when he finds out what Vincent did to his son.



* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Raul's transformations involve following a specific formula, which is part of the reason that he argues it’s different than a werewolf.

to:

* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Raul's transformations involve following a specific formula, which is part of the reason that he argues it’s different than ([[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent most common depictions of]]) a werewolf.

Added DiffLines:

* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Tuffman, now trapped as a cougar, is sent to a zoo where he can no longer hurt anyone, and Raul regains human form and reunites with his father. Vincent, though repentant, is not fully forgiven, nor has he totally come to peace with himself. Raul's mom is still trapped in wolf form, but Raul and his father are holding out hope that White Deer will one day help them save her]].


* TotallyNotAWerewolf: Raul hates this term, because in his mind it implies all the tropes that he doesn’t like or that don’t apply to him. Later on we learn that “spirit animals” may be the “correct” term for shapeshifters.

to:

* TotallyNotAWerewolf: Raul hates this term, because in his mind it implies all the tropes that he doesn’t like or that don’t apply to him. him (basically, being a half-wolf, half-human monster with no real control over oneself, as opposed to "just" being a boy who can turn into a wolf). Later on we learn on, when the line between his human and wolf halves starts to blur, he worries that “spirit animals” may be the “correct” term for shapeshifters.he really ''is'' becoming one, however.


''This is Not a Werewolf Story'' is a children’s novel by Sandra Evans, a professor in Medieval French Literature. It is loosely based on ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}}'' and was written with input from Evans’ own son.

to:

''This is Not a Werewolf Story'' is a children’s middle-grade novel by Sandra Evans, a professor in Medieval French Literature. It is loosely based on ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}}'' and was written with input from Evans’ own son.



* AnimalMotif: All of the shapeshifters, of course. Vincent also has RavensAndCrows, with the implication that he may be able to turn into a raven one day.



* BecauseYouCanCope: Mary Anne is angry when Raul seemingly tells an embarrassing secret about Vincent to the school. She admits that while Vincent lies all the time, it stems from serious self-confidence issues, while she considers Raul to be a far stronger person who shouldn't need to cut him down.



* HeroicWannabe: Raul wants to stop the cougar to save his mother, but also so that Mary Anne will see him as "heroic." Vincent also wants to impress people with his bravery, but he's far more timid and also more willing to just ''seem'' impressive, even if he has to lie to do it.



* LossOfIdentity: Raul considers getting {{Shapeshifter Mode Lock}}ed to be like the death of your human self, and even considers [[spoiler:Vincent]] to be a sort of murderer. Near the end of the novel he also begins to fear that his mother has stayed in wolf form for so long that "White Wolf” may be all that’s left of her.



* NeverMyFault: Vincent’s worst trait is that he’ll never fess up after he’s done something wrong, even if it means letting somebody else take the blame. [[spoiler:He finally does say "sorry" to both Raul and his father after getting Raul trapped in wolf form for months]].

to:

* NeverMyFault: Vincent’s worst trait is that he’ll never fess up after he’s done something wrong, even if he feels guilty and it means letting somebody else take the blame. [[spoiler:He finally does say "sorry" to both Raul and his father after getting Raul trapped in wolf form for months]].

* NobleWolf: Most of the time, though Raul and White Wolf veer into SavageWolf at some points.

* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Even Dean Swift has to stop himself from calling the local bully “Mean Jack,” though Raul winds up dropping it near the end of the novel.





to:

** As in ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}},'' the fact that a wolf acts perfectly tame most of the time but reacts violently to a certain person helps people figure out that something is unusual.



* PunnyName: Tuffman, a former Olympian and current SadistTeacher, is a “tough man.” [[spoiler:It’s not his real name, so maybe he chose it on purpose]].



* ReformedButRejected: [[spoiler:Vincent]], at the end. Raul indicates that he’ll likely forgive him one day.

to:

* ReformedButRejected: [[spoiler:Vincent]], at [[spoiler:Vincent]] does the end. right thing in the end, but Raul indicates admits that he’ll likely he has yet to completely forgive him.

* PapaWolf: Raul, toward the younger kids; Dean Swift, toward all his students (often from their own parents); and [[spoiler:Raul's father]] when he finds out what Vincent did to his son.

* SavageWolf: Though the story leans more toward NobleWolf, Raul gets more angry in animal form; for example, after Tuffman and Vincent hunt
him one day.
and White Wolf, he worries that he might have actually attacked them if they hadn’t escaped in time. He also compares his angrier moments as a human to feeling like his wolf self.



* ShapeshifterModeLock: Raul believes that the white wolf that he sees during his transformations is his MissingMom, having somehow undergone this. [[spoiler:Then Raul is trapped when Vincent steals his clothes, though he at least gets turned back. Tuffman isn’t so lucky]].

to:

* ShapeshifterModeLock: Raul believes that the white wolf that he sees during his transformations is his MissingMom, having somehow undergone this. [[spoiler:Then Raul is trapped for a few months when Vincent steals his clothes, though he at least gets turned back. Tuffman isn’t so lucky]].gets sent to a zoo for the rest of his life]].


''This is Not a Werewolf Story'' is a children’s novel by Sandra Evans, a professor in Medieval French Literature. It is loosely based on ''Literature/Bisclavret'' and was written with input from Evans’ own son.

to:

''This is Not a Werewolf Story'' is a children’s novel by Sandra Evans, a professor in Medieval French Literature. It is loosely based on ''Literature/Bisclavret'' ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}}'' and was written with input from Evans’ own son.



* NeverMyFault: Vincent’s worst trait is that he’ll never fess up after he’s done something wrong, even if it means letting somebody else take the blame.

to:

* NeverMyFault: Vincent’s worst trait is that he’ll never fess up after he’s done something wrong, even if it means letting somebody else take the blame. [[spoiler:He finally does say "sorry" to both Raul and his father after getting Raul trapped in wolf form for months]].

Added DiffLines:

''This is Not a Werewolf Story'' is a children’s novel by Sandra Evans, a professor in Medieval French Literature. It is loosely based on ''Literature/Bisclavret'' and was written with input from Evans’ own son.

Raul lives at a boarding school for kids who have trouble at home. He makes a point of rarely talking and generally only associates with the younger students. He does befriend the school’s newest student, Vincent, and has a crush on Mary Anne, one of the friendlier girls. He also likes most of the teachers, though the school coach, Tuffman, seems to hate him for unknown reasons.

On the weekend, the students at the school all go home to their families, except Raul. He finds family a different way: by using the magic of the nearby woods to [[VoluntaryShapeshifting turn into a wolf]], where he meets White Wolf, whom he believes to be his MissingMom [[ShapeshifterModeLock trapped in animal form]]. And unfortunately, the two of them have competition from another predator now prowling the forest...

Evans has indicated that she is working on both a prequel and a sequel, though nothing has been officially announced.
----
!!The books contain examples of:

* AllAbusersAreMale: {{Subverted}} with Sparrow’s abusive mother.

* BadassTeacher: The reading teacher, Ms. Tern, to Raul’s surprise. [[spoiler:She’s actually there hunting down Tuffman, whom she believes to be an infamous poacher]].

* BikerBabe: Vincent’s mother.

* BoardingSchool: The setting.
** BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: {{Downplayed}}; it’s a special school for kids with personal or home problems, so it’s not exactly a ''happy'' place, but the teachers are all rather nice. Except [[SadistTeacher Tuffman]].

* BruiserWithASoftCenter: “Mean” Jack.

* CannibalismSuperpower: [[spoiler:Tuffman extends his lifespan by eating spirit animals]].

* CannotKeepASecret: [[spoiler:Vincent]]. At least, unless it’s one of his own.

* CompellingVoice: Several times throughout the story, Raul finds himself starting to believe Tuffman’s lies and almost spills his secrets to him. Afterwards, he can’t explain why. [[spoiler:Apparently it’s activated by repeatedly [[IKnowYourTrueName using the listener’s name]]]].

* EvilTeacher: Tuffman goes beyond SadistTeacher, given that [[spoiler:he eats other shapeshifters to extend his lifespan]].

* IJustWantToBeNormal: [[spoiler:Vincent could apparently become a raven shapeshifter, but doesn’t want to]].

* IKnowYourTrueName: [[spoiler:Tuffman can activate a CompellingVoice when he uses people’s names, and will sometimes drop it repeatedly during a conversation]].

* LethalChef: Sparrow’s grandmother makes an awful casserole for lunch every weekend. Later Raul reads his mother’s recipes and realizes that she was a terrible cook too, a detail which he finds kind of endearing. [[spoiler:Then again, the “recipes” are actually secret codes...]]

* LineageComesFromTheFather: GenderFlipped; it’s implied that being a shapeshifter passes from mother to child through mitochondrial DNA.

* LittleBitBeastly: [[UnreliableNarrator Despite insisting]] that he's a normal human boy when he changes back from a wolf, Raul has a mild case of SuperSenses and SuperStrength, as well as unusually sharp teeth and “scary eyes” in his human form. [[spoiler:These traits are amplified by the Fresnal lens]].

* MagicAIsMagicA: Raul compares the woods magic to a recipe, and believes that his mother got {{Shapeshifter Mode Lock}}ed because she somehow messed up one of the steps to the transformation. As a result he’s always careful to do everything the same way each time.

* {{Magitek}}: The Fresnal lens.

* TheMarvelousDeer: The White Deer, which occasionally shows itself to people and taught Raul how to transform.

* MyInstinctsAreShowing: At one point Raul, having just turned back to human, runs away from Tuffman on all fours. He indicates both that this was his wolf instincts but also a conscious choice, though he feels ashamed of doing it afterwards.
** [[spoiler:The Fresnal lens makes Raul stronger, but also more animalistic even in human form]].

* NeverMyFault: Vincent’s worst trait is that he’ll never fess up after he’s done something wrong, even if it means letting somebody else take the blame.

* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When suffering from a concussion, Raul becomes more paranoid and emotional, which is only heightened by stress from Bobo’s injury. [[spoiler:This leads to him lashing out against Sparrow for losing the fishing pole that Raul made him]].

* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent: Includes wolves, [[spoiler:cougars, orcas, and apparently ravens]]. It seems to be a mixture of magic and science, and requires special light (which the forest provides through bioluminescent fungi), a special place (for Raul, the lighthouse) and clothes (taken off and put back on in order to shift).

* ParentalNeglect: Raul's father became so depressed after his wife's disappearance that he often forgot to bring Raul to school, and when a social worker came by Raul was dirty, wearing clothes that were too small and eating his bowl of cereal on the floor. Nowadays he’s stopped picking Raul up from boarding school on the weekends. [[spoiler:This is actually because he was getting fake letters indicating that Raul didn’t want to see him]].
** Mary Anne’s parents seem to be more traditional, {{Workaholic}} kind.

* ParentsAsPeople: Raul is sometimes angry about his father’s ParentalNeglect, but seems aware that it stems from depression. His father also wants to do more, [[spoiler:but believes that Raul doesn’t want to see him]].

* PlaceOfPower: White Deer Woods. The lighthouse is specifically Raul’s “threshold,” the special place where he can transform.

* PrecociousCrush: Raul plans to marry one of Dean Swift’s three teenage daughters when grows up. (Or Mary Anne, who’s his own age, but amusingly he sees ''her'' as the long shot.)

* PsychologistTeacher: Dean Swift is a bit more bumbling than some examples, but overall fits the bill.

* RaisedByGrandparents: Sparrow, since his mother’s abuse came to light.

* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: [[spoiler:Tuffman, who extends his life by eating spirit animals]].

* ReformedButRejected: [[spoiler:Vincent]], at the end. Raul indicates that he’ll likely forgive him one day.

* SecretKeeper: Raul eventually tells [[spoiler:Vincent]] about his power. [[spoiler:{{Subverted}} because Vincent winds up telling Tuffman]].

* ShapeshifterModeLock: Raul believes that the white wolf that he sees during his transformations is his MissingMom, having somehow undergone this. [[spoiler:Then Raul is trapped when Vincent steals his clothes, though he at least gets turned back. Tuffman isn’t so lucky]].

* ShapeshiftingExcludesClothing: Being loosely based on ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}},'' the "recipe” to transform actually requires you to take off your clothes before it begins, then put them back on to turn back.

* TheSmartGuy: Mary Anne, who also seems to be trying to act far more intellectual than any kid her age should.

* StacysMom: All of the older boys have this reaction when they first see Vincent’s mom without her motorcycle helmet. Raul’s narration repeatedly refers to her as “Pretty Lady.”

* SuperSenses: Raul ([[spoiler:and Tuffman]]) seem to have unusually good hearing and smell even in human form.

* TemporalThemeNaming: Dean Swift’s three daughters are named April, May and June.

* TeachersOutOfSchool: The first time that Raul’s father fails to pick him up, Dean Swift stays at the school with him over the weekend. The second time Raul actually goes home with him and meets his family.

* TotallyNotAWerewolf: Raul hates this term, because in his mind it implies all the tropes that he doesn’t like or that don’t apply to him. Later on we learn that “spirit animals” may be the “correct” term for shapeshifters.

* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Raul's transformations involve following a specific formula, which is part of the reason that he argues it’s different than a werewolf.

* WerewolfThemeNaming: At one point, Mary Anne informs Raul that his name means “wolf.” He marvels at that for a bit, wondering “do our names call the animal? Or are we named for the animal we call?”
** Vincent also has an AnimalMotif with crows and ravens, which are associated with St. Vincent, as Mary Anne also notes.
** [[spoiler:Dean ''Swift'' is an eagle]].

* WhiteWolvesAreSpecial: White Wolf, whom Raul believes to be his MissingMom. We eventually learn that white shapeshifters are “spirit animals,” though details about them remain hidden.

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