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Julie of the Wolves (HarperClassics) Paperback – June 6, 1997

332 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies. At 13, an orphan, and unhappily married, Miyax runs away from her husband's parents' home, hoping to reach San Francisco and her pen pal. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food, no shelter, and no idea which is the way to safety. Now, more than ever, she must look hard at who she really is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl of the old ways? Or is she Julie (her "gussak"-white people-name), the modernized teenager who must mock the traditional customs? And when a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, Miyax must learn to think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving? John Schoenherr's line drawings suggest rather than tell about the compelling experiences of a girl searching for answers in a bleak landscape that at first glance would seem to hold nothing. Fans of Jean Craighead George's stunning, Newberry Medal-winning coming-of-age story won't want to miss Julie (1994) and Julie's Wolf Pack (1998). (Ages 10 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“The whole book has a rare, intense reality which the artist enhances beautifully with animated drawings.” (The Horn Book)

“Jean George has captured the subtle nuances of Eskimo life, animal habits, the pain of growing up, and combines these elements into a thrilling adventure which is, at the same time, a poignant love story.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

“The evocatively written, empathetic story effectively evokes the nature of wolves and dramatizes how the traditional Eskimo way of life is giving way before the relentless onlaught of civilization.” (ALA Booklist)

“It is a book anyone who loves the outdoors will find hard to forget.” (Boston Globe)

“[Jean Craighead George’s] novel is packed with expert wolf lore, its narrative beautifully conveying the sweeping vastness of tundra as well as many other aspects of the Arctic, ancient and modern, animal and human. It is refreshing to see the Arctic well portrayed through a woman’s eyes.” (New York Times)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (June 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064400581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064400589
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (332 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jean Craighead George was born in a family of naturalists. Her father, mother, brothers, aunts and uncles were students of nature. On weekends they camped in the woods near their Washington, D.C. home, climbed trees to study owls, gathered edible plants and made fish hooks from twigs. Her first pet was a turkey vulture. In third grade she began writing and hasn't stopped yet. She has written over 100 books.Her book, Julie of the Wolves won the prestigious Newbery Medal, the American Library Association's award for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children, l973. My Side of the Mountain, the story of a boy and a falcon surviving on a mountain together, was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book. She has also received 20 other awards.She attended Penn State University graduating with a degree in Science and Literature. In the 1940s she was a reporter for The Washington Post and a member of the White House Press Corps. After her children were born she returned to her love of nature and brought owls, robins, mink, sea gulls, tarantulas - 173 wild animals into their home and backyard. These became characters in her books and, although always free to go, they would stay with the family until the sun changed their behavior and they migrated or went off to seek partners of their own kind.When her children, Twig, Craig and Luke, were old enough to carry their own backpacks, they all went to the animals. They climbed mountains, canoed rivers, hiked deserts. Her children learned about nature and Jean came home and to write books. Craig and Luke are now environmental scientists and Twig writes children's books, too.One summer Jean learned that the wolves were friendly, lived in a well-run society and communicated with each other in wolf talk -- sound, sight, posture, scent and coloration. Excited to learn more, she took Luke and went to the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow, Alaska, where scientists were studying this remarkable animal. She even talked to the wolves in their own language. With that Julie of the Wolves was born. A little girl walking on the vast lonesome tundra outside Barrow, and a magnificent alpha male wolf, leader of a pack in Denali National Park were the inspiration for the characters in the book. Years later, after many requests from her readers, she wrote the sequels, Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack.She is still traveling and coming home to write. In the last decade she has added two beautiful new dimensions to her words beautiful full-color picture book art by Wendell Minor and others and - music. Jean is collaborating with award-winning composer, Chris Kubie to bring the sounds of nature to her words.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

479 of 494 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
My 8 year old daughter was given this book to read by her 3rd grade teacher. She was really enjoying the book up until the end of Part II, right before she the main character runs away from her husband (they are 13 years old and it is an arranged marriage) and joins the wolves. I hadn't read the book and was somewhat shocked when she came to me and asked me to read one page to her and explain what was happening. It was the part where her husband Daniel forces himself on her because his friends around town were teasing him that he was "..dumb Daniel. He has a wife and he can't mate her." He proceeds to "press his lips against her mouth", she pulls away and he tears her dress from her shoulder, takes her down to the floor, and "crushes her with his body". Then "the room spun, and grew blurry. Daniel cursed, kicked violently, and lay still." Then he gets up and runs out of the house and yells out "Tomorrow, tomorrow I can, can, can, ha, ha," he bleated piteously. She vomits and then moves into action and leaves him.

Now, I have talked with my daughter about how babies are made, ie. mating, but this was a little different and it brought up a whole other conversation. I know the book is a Newberry Award winner and a very well-written book that most children enjoy, I just wish I had known about this part. The publisher marks the book as ages 10 and up but that is still a young age to have that particular situation explained. And maybe some children would read right past it and not really catch what actually happened but parents might want to know about that so they can be prepared for what to say if their child comes and asks what happened on page 102! I wish I had known about it! Hope this helps if you're deciding whether or not to buy this book for your young daughter.
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Sherri Barry on April 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Julie, an Inuit Eskimo from Alaska, is born with the name Miyax. Because her mother dies when Miyax is barely four years old, Miyax's father, Kapugen, brings her up in the traditional Eskimo ways and teaches her a life of co-existence with the natural world. When Miyax is nine years old, her Aunt takes her away from her father because Julie is suppose to go to school. There she is around Americanized Eskimos, who call her Julie, and she starts to believe that she has lived a strange life with her father in the Alaskan wilderness. At thirteen, Julie finds herself in a bad situation and attempts to run away to San Francisco where her pen pal lives. Even though Julie is running away from her Eskimo upbringing, she winds up depending on the ways of her people. Out in the wilderness, she learns a lot about who she is. This book is about discovery and acceptance as Julie defines herself through her own culture and becomes Miyax again. Jean Craighead George interprets a particular culture, Inuit Eskimo, and defines it throughout the story. Julie, as a young girl, learns the importance of her culture and the process of identifying herself within it. However, Julie, as an adolescent, rebels against her culture because it has become out-of-date and is considered old fashion to live as the traditional Eskimo's once did. Julie learns from the American Eskimo kids about the modern world and about a life that is much different than what she is used to. Julie also has a pen pal who lives in San Francisco who has been sending Julie pictures of her home and telling her about strange and beautiful things that Julie wants to see. She begins to believe that the way she was brought up was, indeed, very strange and therefore not the way that she wants to live anymore.Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By michael on March 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was great. It's about a young 13-year-old Eskimo girl, called Miyax, who is married to a boy called Daniel and lives with his parents. Miyax then runs away from Daniel and his family, because of the way she was treated. She plans to work her way to San Francisco, where she would live with her pen pal, but she then finds herself lost in a large tundra and depends on wolves to live. By observing a pack she found how to communicate with the wolves and...
One of my reasons why I liked this book is, it's so descriptive. You can easily picture the characters and their surroundings just by reading a few sentences. Such as this quote, "Her face was pearl-round and her nose was flat. Her black eyes, which slanted gracefully, were moist and sparkling."
Another reason why I like this book is, it gives me an idea of how the environment of Alaska is, and how the old, traditional culture of the Eskimos was like. I also like how the book described the relationship between people, and the nature around them, and how they learned how to survive in the wilderness just by observing animals- how to hunt, where to find food, and how to defend yourself against another predator. This quote describes what I mean, "Next she noted that the grasses grew in different spota than the mosses, and the more she studied, the more the face of the tundra emerged; a face that could tell her which way was north, if she had listened more carefully to Kapugen."
My most favorite part of this book was when Miyax begins playing with the puppies of the pack, Zing, Zit, Sister, and Kapu. This reminds me of how enjoyable life can be with friends and family.
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