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Comment: Appears to have been read. Medium mark / wear on dust cover. Small cut / scratch on dust cover. Medium wrinkle / bend on dust cover.
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The Wolves Are Back Hardcover – April 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1ST edition (April 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525479473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525479475
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 11.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—"The wolves are back!" So begins this poignant and thought-provoking tale tracing the interconnectedness of nature and the far-reaching effects that occur when one aspect of a particular ecosystem is disrupted, in this case, the wolf population. By 1926, there were no more wolves in the 48 states—"rangers, hunters, and ranchers were told to shoot every wolf they saw. They did."—and the ecological balance was disrupted. Wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, and as their numbers grew, balance returned. Moving deftly between the past and present, and set against the backdrop of Wendell Minor's wonderful panoramic paintings, Jean Craighead George's text (Dutton, 2008) beautifully demonstrates the effects of the presence and absence of wolves on the delicate ecosystem. "The vast elk herd had eaten the grasses the little bird needed for food and nesting material. When the wolves returned, they frightened the elk into the mountains. The grasses grew tall. The sparrows raised babies and sang. The wolves were back." Minor's engaging and lively reading is accompanied by excellent sound effects, including fluttering bird wings, songbirds, trampling bison, croaking frogs, and the stirring and plaintive howling of wolves. An excellent purchase for schools and libraries for units on wildlife protection and ecology—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In 1995, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park—first time they had been part of the park’s ecosystem for many years. Although George follows one wolf’s growth from pup to adult, the emphasis here is not as much on the wolves and their habits, but on how their presence has changed the ecosystem and returned its natural balance. In just one example, the wolves drove the elk herds to seek refuge higher in the hills, causing the valley grasses to grow taller, allowing for the return of the Vesper sparrow, which uses the grasses for food and nests. George writes about each of the changes caused by the wolves’ return in simple, rhythmic, informative prose. Adding to the book’s appeal are Minor’s finely detailed illustrations, featuring spectacularly rendered animals in the foreground of the bold, western landscapes. Together the words and pictures make for a highly effective and enjoyable explanation of how the presence of one animal can profoundly affect an ecosystem. Match this with Dorothy Hinshaw Patent’s When the Wolves Returned (2008). Grades 3-5. --Todd Morning

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully written and illustrated.
M. Pike
We were amazed when the story within these pages recorded a sighting of wolves in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park just like our own!
Church Music Lover
All three of my kids love reading this book.
Kimberley M Jarboe Fund

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"The pup watched his father eat. Then he, too, tore off a bite. Two ravens stuffed themselves. A golden eagle carried off food for her eaglets. A grizzly bear sat nearby waiting for the wolves to leave so she could eat in peace. Three magpies snatched quick bites. Mice chewed on calcium-filled antlers. Two sexton beetles buried a piece of meat to eat later. The valley was sharing food again.
"The wolves were back."

I expect that most people -- if told that I spent years in Boy Scouts -- would not be surprised to learn that one of the first merit badges I earned was my Reading merit badge. So it is that I vividly recall reading (and discussing) Jean Craighead George's MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN, which had garnered a Newbery Honor back in the days when I was first learning to read. And so it was that I was so excited years ago when upon entering the exhibition hall during the very first morning of my very first American Library Association convention that I encountered Jean Craighead George and Wendell Minor together for a book signing. (That appearance had been for another great book about wolves.)

"Where had they been?
"Shot. Every one.
"Many years ago the directors of the national parks decided that only the gentle animals should grace the beautiful wilderness. Rangers, hunters, and ranchers were told to shoot every wolf they saw. They did. By 1926, there were no more wolves in the forty-eight states. No voices howled. The thrilling chorus of the wilderness was silenced.
"The wolves were gone."

Jean Craighead George was a young girl learning to read as the last of the wolves were shot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've been in love with wolves for as long as I can remember, perhaps from childhood when I read Jack London. When I read a recent review of "Never Cry Wolf," by an Amazon friend, I had to respond with this newly aquired book in my library, "The Wolves Are Back," by another long-time wolf-lover, Jean Craighead George and illustrator, Wendell Minor. As a lovely touch, Minor declared his dedication to "All the people who made it possible for the wolves to return to Yellowtone."

On each page of script, the final sentence is: "The wolves are back!" On that first page the reader learns that the wolf pack has killed an elk. On the second page we learn that others also eat from that kill: ravens, a golden eagle, a grizzly bear, magpies, mice,and sexton beetles. "The valley was sharing food again. The wolves were back."

On the third page of script is the horrid back story. By 1926 there were no more wolves in the forty-eight states. Directors of the national parks had given the go-ahead for hunters and ranchers to kill every single wolf they saw. Reader, did you know that? (I'm assuming this is true.) Only gentle animals were allowed to roam in national parks: deer, elk, antelope.

By request from park visitors who wanted to hear the wolves howl, ten adult wolves were returned to Yellowstone in 1995. With them they caused the return of the Vesper sparrow. How? The elk herds had eaten all the grasses the bird needed for food and nesting. The wolves frightened the elk into the mountains, the grasses grew back, and the birds returned.

A similar occurrence with bison and flycatchers. When erosion stopped because grasses grew back, the beaver found willows to use to create dams and ponds and waterbirds and fish and frogs and dragonflies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Church Music Lover on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After returning home from a road trip through Yellowstone we picked up a few books from the library. This was one of them. We were amazed when the story within these pages recorded a sighting of wolves in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park just like our own! A great nature story and the illustrations are luminous, lifelike, and uplifting. A fantastic book to give as a gift.
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We bought this book after my son checked it out from the public library. It was a favorite at the time. All three of my kids love reading this book. It has wonderful illustrations, entertains, and informs.
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This is a good book about the balance of nature. It is important that nature is balanced, but it is also important to note that man is part of nature, and the nature is only truly in balance when we can live in it safely. If there is an imbalance then nature will correct it, and often not in accordance with what we would prefer.
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By the author of "Look to the North", this book is an easier read for younger children. Illustrations show us how the wolves participate in the ecosystem within Yellowstone National Park. I love the simplicity of the drawing. Well written and educational!
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By C. Jones on May 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book if you want your children to see how an ecosystem fits together. Jean's beautiful writing style and the stunning illustrations made it a popular book with my students. The illustrations make the idea of an interconnected ecosystem accessible to make grade levels/ages.
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