October 08, 2011

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Julie of the Wolves is the 1st in a series about a young Eskimo girl named Julie/Miyax and her joining with a pack of wolves. The books don't necessarily have to be read in any order, but it makes the most sense to start with this as the first. Its a great series for animal lovers and children, and even adults can get some enjoyment out of it.

Julie has run away from her husband at the tender age of thirteen. She cannot stand living with him any longer but doesn't realize what trouble she's gotten herself in until she realizes she has become lost in the arctic wilderness. Running out of food Julie stumbles across a wolf pack and hopes that if she can befriend them they will provide her with food. She watches and learn to mimic their movements and communicate with them until they accept her as one of the pack. But she can't stay with them forever, once the pups are grown they will be moving on and Julie must find herself somewhere to go as well.

Julie is a strong brave character who shows real empathy with animals. I enjoyed reading about her and I thought that the author through her expressed some unique views of the Eskimo people (called Eskimo's in this book, not Inuit). It was an interesting glimpse into the culture. The wolves weren't near as developed but I can sympathize with the author on that considering she's never been a wolf. She did express the pack hierarchy well though and each wolf was described somewhat differently from the others.

Since this is a children's book it is appropriate for them although there are some parts that may cause confusion. Julie being married at thirteen just being one of those questions. It is a great book for trying to learn to relate with animals though and Julie as a protagonist is a girl that can be looked up to. While I would have liked to see more detail and had the book be a bit longer, it was still very good.

I'll have to go find the rest of the series now that I've read this one. I love animals and wolves are especially interesting to me so this is good reading in my opinion!

Julie of the Wolves
Copyright 1972
170 pages

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