Beckhorn, Susan Williams. The Wolf's Boy
June 7th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Copy received from the publisher
Nominated for the Cybils award
When Kai is born, his father abandons him to the wolves because he has a club foot. Instead of killing him, the mother wolf takes good care of him, and he is reclaimed by his own mother. Because of his disability, many things are forbidden for Kai, including hunting. When he finds a tiny wolf cub whose mother has been killed, Kai asks his parents if he can raise it. In time, Uff endears herself to the humans by not only amusing them, but keeping them same from other animals and helping with the hunt. When Kai's mistake causes his brother to be injured, he and Uff run away and fend well for themselves until Kai breaks his arm. Luckily, he is rescued by an "ice man" (a Cro-Magnon), who heals his arm and makes sure he has decent shelter and food before leaving. Kai decides to go back home after Uff has been badly injured.
Strengths: There is little historical fiction set in this time period, and the story of one of the first boys with a dog has some charm. The details of how Kai and his family live are interesting, there is some good survival adventure, and Uff is endearing.
Weaknesses: It took a chapter or two to get into this, and the cover isn't all that appealing either. This might take some hand selling, but readers who like both dog books and survival books will enjoy this if they give it a chance.
What I really think: Glad to have a copy, and even more glad to have my own wolf cousin!