Julie of the Wolves

386286_1693

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1973

JULIE OF THE WOLVES

by Jean Craighead George

Age: 11+

Interests: wilderness survival, nature, arctic, animals, wolves, Inuit, First Nations, strong girls

Harper & Row: 1972

170 pp.

Sequels: Julie, Julie’s Wolf Pack

Also by this author: My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain

Next: The Incredible JourneyCall it Courage, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet

A thirteen-year-old Inuit girl, raised in the traditional ways, runs away from an arranged marriage and struggles to survive an Arctic winter in the Alaskan wilderness. By befriending a pack of wolves and learning their ways, she survives many perils, but her biggest challenge is deciding which life to live – the traditional life of her ancestors or a new, modern life in white society.

An astonishing story, gripping and suspenseful, this gives an unvarnished look at the passing of traditional cultures. The details of what Julie/Miyax needs to do to survive aren’t always pretty either. The social relationships of the wolves are particularly fascinating, and the girl, through careful observation, is able to pick up on their cues and secure a tenuous spot within their family. Details of life in the tundra, and the ways of the various birds and beasts are well-told and realistic.

Readers as young as perhaps 8 could read this novel, however there is mature content in the flashback scene before Julie runs away – she flees after an attempted sexual assault by her young husband. While not particularly graphic, it could be disturbing for some readers.

(this title available at amazon.com)

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aidan
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 13:08:29

    This book was given to my “advanced reader” at the age of 6 as a prize by a library. I decided to pre-read it before passing it to her and I’m so glad I did! (Yes the library apologized for not ensuring age-appropriateness). Like you I thought it was an insightful and gripping tale, a fantastic read, but I will wait some years before I put it in her hands (I have read it is within some curriculum’s for grade 7-12). Not only was the assault scene difficult, it also has the painful loss of wolves, made more difficult because of course the girl has no one else.

    Reply

    • Kim
      Oct 22, 2013 @ 13:12:16

      6!? Yikes! Yeah, that’s a little young for this one. It would be a much better fit for older kids because of the cultural commentary as well – young readers won’t get as much out of it.

      Reply

  2. LittleBudd
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 11:18:30

    Loved this book!

    Reply

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.