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The Wild Hunt Hardcover – May, 1995


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Children's Christmas Books
Visit the Children's Christmas Bookstore to find stories about Santa and his reindeer, cozy books to read by the fire, and sweet stories about family celebrations.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 137 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1st edition (May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152002111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152002114
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thoughtful Jerold and the more reckless, appropriately named Gerund are two boys living in similar houses, somehow in parallel universes, in the dead of winter. As he does every year, Herne the Hunter, Lord of Winter, is battling the Queen of Light, She Who Is Ever, She Whose Word Is Law, she who is also Jerold's and Gerund's house cat. As a blizzard rages, Herne hunts, and Gerund gets himself captured. Jerold must try to be a hero and rescue Gerund. As it does every year, the battle ends in a draw, and the world continues as before, neither descending into the dark nor controlled by the light. Jerold reluctantly but bravely tries to perform the task given him by the Queen, the action vividly described in suitably C.S. Lewis-like prose. But Yolen (The Wizard's Hall) does not stop there; she crams this thickly plotted story with symbolism, literary allusions (the cat points out that a hero can also be a sandwich) and mannerisms. Though she produces an unusual fantasy novel, this self-consciousness kills passion, and readers may well do as the boys do at the end of the story-walk out with no desire to return. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9?In short chapters labeled "almost" and "sort of," Yolen relates the tales of Jerold and Gerund, two very different boys who "almost" share the same house and "sort of" spend their time with a sharp-tongued white cat who won't give her name. Into this odd configuration comes the Hunt, complete with invisible riders and an antlered Huntsman. A battle of light v. dark follows, ending with the death of Gerund's dog, Mully. The children return to the house together, and the story ends with them walking out on the cat. The language and writing are rich and precise. The unusual chapter headings add a rather detached tone to the work, which may be why the boys' grief over Mully's death never reaches readers, and why the ending lacks closure. There is a great deal packed into each sentence, and the cat's half-riddles and the sly jokes (about Gerund's name, for instance) require some knowledge of motifs and wordplay to make sense of the story. The placement of the black-and-white illustrations and generous amounts of white space make this an attractive volume. However, it's not a book that most children will find easily accessible. It is for scholars who are more interested in the roots of fantasy than the actual story. For a rousing hunt tale, try Pat O'Shea's The Hounds of the Morrigan (Holiday, 1986). For heartbreak over good v. evil, recommend Lloyd Alexander's The High King (Holt, 1968).?Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding. Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Jane Yolen taps into mythos and folklore for "Wild Hunt," a short and sweet kids' fantasy with exquisite writing and amazing illustrations. Yolen also experiments with a unique chapter format, as often chapters are split into "Chapter One; Chapter One - Almost; Chapter One - Sort of" which adds extra charm.
Jerrold and Gerund are young boys who live in parallel versions of a huge house, "surrounded by rowan trees that are proof against magic." With each one lives the beautiful, chilly white cat; with Gerund also lives the overenthusiastic Mully the dog (who tends to echo the last few words of each sentence).
Outside, the Wild Hunt has begun; the chaotic, frightening king of winter is on the search for the Lady, who is "She Who Is Ever, She Whose Word Is Law, The Once and Future Queen, Maiden Mother and Crone, Summer and Goodness and Light." (Those last are highly debateable) Gerund and Jerrold are swept into the snowy wilderness, full of frightening hounds and the Moss-man, and the result of the clash between Summer and Winter is something that they never could have dreamed of.
One interesting fact about this book is that since the forces in motion are so much greater than the boys, they are not really able to change much. (I enjoyed the mentions of Aragorn, Ged, and Will Stanton by one of the boys, as fictional heroes) The ending is intriguing -- I really didn't see that coming, but after the events of the climax, I can't imagine it any other way.
Jerrold and Gerund are both brave and interesting, yet freaked enough by what is happening for them to be realistic. Mully's antics may grate on readers, but certain plot developments make him poignant rather than irritating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Kelley on September 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Wild Hunt is a slow-moving, easily comprehendible book. The book has a unique and intriguing set-up that had me hooked by the second chapter. The book has three parts in a chapter, each tells a similar story from a different point of view. The story is full of action and suspence, which kept me hooked. When I started reading I could not put the book down. This book cannot be made better. If you love adventure this book is for you. I give it a great rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Be careful before you read this- it contains some things that first-time readers wouldn't want to hear. I think that the most striking thing about this book is the message. The two boys, the main characters, are just pawns, or tools in a game that has been played for centuries between two god-like forces. These two characters, the Hunter and a cat who seems to be caring for the young boys, don't even truly care about them or the pain they are causing. The boys are forced between acting out and changing the game for themselves, or simply following along, and obeying the rules as they are expected to. It's the same story, of finding your own road to walk on and not just taking the beaten path, but it is set in a wonderful, haunting, world that you'll remember for a long time after you've read it. However, it's one of those fast and abrupt books you might not fully understand the first time through. You have to consider what's happening, and really think about the characters. And while the end might not please some of the readers who insist upon a perfect Cinderella closing, it somehow fits with the book, and becomes another thing you can't forget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James L. Cook II on February 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the better books I have ever read. It is one of those books that makes you want to just keep reading and reading until its done. Its plot and suspenseful hunt is extrodinary. If you havn't read a book from Jane Yolen this book will suprise you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1999
Format: Turtleback
I thought it was a great book because of the way it was written and illistrated. I thought the author could have described Jerold and Gurund in a little more detail. I thought the way the author described the Horn King was very good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This very exciting plot has extremely deep roots in Norse and Greek mythology. You must be familiar with these mythologies to fully appreciate the meaning of the book. The chapter setup is very different but fun.
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Format: Turtleback
I have just read two short novels by Jane Yolen. The first of these is THE WILD HUNT. In this book Jane Yolen weaves a tale of several worlds that all seem to border one another at an old mansion. Different aspects of this mansion are inhabited by different aspects of the same young lad. Soon magic begins to rise and the Wild Hunt is riding through the hills.
Led by a cat who is an aspect of the Summer Queen, the lad must rescue himself from Herne. In doing so he learns the secret behind the Wild Hunt and the folly it represents.
This was an interesting and fresh telling of a classic legend.
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