Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Wolf Called Wander

Parry, Rosanne. A Wolf Called Wander
May 2nd 2019 by HarperCollins
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Swift lives near the mountains with his pack; father, mother, and several siblings, including Warm, the smallest and most fragile. They hunt, snuggle in their den, and hunt small animals. When the pack is attacked by another pack, Swift is badly injured and separated from his family. He barely survives, and travels to try to locate his loved ones. His only companion is a raven, with whom he shares some food. This gives him comfort, but a wolf alone is not a happy one. At one point, he sees a female wolf, but she is on the far side of the black river (a highway), and he chases her off so she doesn't get hit by a car. Swift lives on bugs and small rodents, not the quality of food a wolf would expect, while he is healing, and hopes to be able to join a pack of bachelor wolves, but has no luck. At one point, he finds Warm, only to be cruelly separated from him by Warm's death. He misses the mountains, and has to learn the intricacies of his new terrain. Eventually, he is able to reestablish himself, but not as the Swift he once was, but as a new incarnation of himself, Wander.
Strengths: Of all the animals in the world, wolves are the ones about whom my students want books! Even Elizabeth's Hall's Child of the Wolves(1995) still circulated in my library until it fell apart. I always enjoy Parry's writing; it is crisp, descriptive, and facile. (Meaning that it seems effortless and is easy to read. Somehow that term seems perjorative, but I don't mean it that way!) I'm NOT a fan of books from an animal's perspective, so it speaks well to the quality of the writing that I was able to read this and enjoy it.
Weaknesses: It is unsparing in its descriptions of what life in the wild means-- there is a fair amount of animal violence and gore. On the upside, it did NOT start with a description of Swift being born!
What I really think: While not something I'm personally wild about, I'll definitely buy a copy because my students will be glad to have it. Definitely a better choice of an animal adventure story than the sad and confusing Pax.

Ms. Yingling

2 comments:

  1. I loved wolf books, too, when I was a kid. Julie of the Wolves was a favourite. Haven't read one for a long time; this one sounds worth picking up.

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  2. It is a great story! I'll be featuring it on my blog next month.

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