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Review: “Summer of the Wolves” by Polly Carlson-Voiles

March 25, 2013

Everyone needs a little wildness in their life. No, I’m not talking about letting loose and partying–I mean really wild. As in spaces without people, animals that you don’t pet, and being immersed in the knowledge that who you are is so small compared to bigness of the world we live in. Since we can’t all live in the wild (it wouldn’t be so wild then, would it?), it’s a great gift when an author takes you to the wild and lets you live there for awhile. Polly Carlson-Voiles does a fantastic job of this in “Summer of the Wolves.

Nika does not want to leave California. Especially to visit an uncle she’s never met in the wilds of northern Minnesota. But go she and her brother Randall must, as their foster mom is sick and can’t take care of them. They were just starting to feel at home with May after their mom died a year ago, and now they have to leave. When they arrive at Uncle Ian’s after a plane trip and a boat ride,  Nika is allowed to go with him on a research trip to check on a wolf pack. Violence has rocked the pack, however, and a dead female leaves a wolf pup orphaned. Ian and Nika take it home to raise, but it’s a twenty-four hour job. As Nika bonds with the wolf pup, she just might be able to like it in Minnesota. But will she be able to do what’s best for both herself, her brother and the wild pup?

If you’ve ever been fascinated by wolves, or if, like me, you miss the wilds of the north woods, this book is a must read. As part adventure, part coming-of-age story, and part science log, “Summer of the Wolves” will let you run wild with the wolves in the Boundary Waters.

School Library Journal recommends this book for grades 5-8.

–Andrea W., H.Q.

P.S. For more wildness, click on the titles below.



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