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Book Review: Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves #1) – Jean Craighead George

Book: Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves #1)

Author: Jean Craighead George


Pages: 180

Genre(s) / Theme(s): Alaska, wilderness, survival, young adult, fiction, historical fiction, wolves, dogs, Eskimos

Date Read: 12 March 2018

Book Cover - Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Description from Goodreads:

“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?”

I read this as part of my “Around the US in 50 Book” challenge (read a book set in each of the 50 states…can’t be something I’ve read before, and preferably something outside of my favored genre, etc.) This review is going to be pretty basic – just getting some thoughts down before they totally leave my pea-brain. 

This was a very easy read, and because of that I was surprised at how well I liked Julie of the Wolves. This definitely had the school reading list vibe, but I still found it to be a good book. The difficult decisions Julie/Miyax was faced with, the situations she chose to put herself in to try to make a better life for herself – not your typical decisions a young adolescent girl would be faced with. The physical journey was trying, but I think the mental/emotional journey was far more difficult for her. I liked the unexpected twist towards the end, which really added a level of depth to Julie/Miyax’s overall character. It made me think about what I would do if faced with a similar situation.

The Kindle version had a great section for discussion topics for reading in a classroom setting, and even as an adult, the questions made you consider the book in different ways. I also enjoyed reading about the author.

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