Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Summer of the Wolves

Summer of the Wolves

Spring 2012 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Polly Carlson-Voiles
ISBN: 978-9-547-74591-6
Hardcover Price: $15.99

At twelve, Nika and her seven-year-old brother, Randall, had bounced around in the foster care system for a couple of years. They had finally settled comfortably in Pasadena with a kind-hearted woman, when their father's brother resurfaced in Minnesota and agreed to take them. Uprooted yet again, the children were flown in a small plane to an island in a wilderness area in northern Minnesota where Uncle Ian did wildlife research with wolves. Unable to live together in their uncle's one-room cabin, Randall happily moved into a home with three boys, while Nika grumpily moved into a large log house with an older woman named Pearl and Uncle Ian. Trying to engage her interest, Ian took her on a working flight, telling her that they might see a wolf. Instead, they discovered a wolf that had been killed by a man stealing wolf pups to sell. They also discovered a two-week old male pup that had been overlooked in the back of the destroyed den.

The author not only knows her wolves, she knows the hearts of children. Filled with Nika's struggles to raise the pup, she also believably reveals Nika's oppositional behavior toward bonding with her kindly but clueless uncle. Both the child and the wolf seem absolutely real.

Kemie Nix   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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