Julie of the Wolves
This novel by Jean Craighead George reminded me a lot of another Newbery Medal winner: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Both young adult books feature young female protagonists forced to survive in the wild. Both books explore survival and the relationship between man and nature. I read this for the Book Awards Challenge; I chose it because I’ve seen the book cover for many years. The cover has left an impression, and I’ve always found wolves to be beautiful animals. I’d like to think that my daemon would be a steely, graceful wolf. Well, that’s what I would say to myself. One learns a lot about the life up in the Arctic circle, and the spritiual and practical lives that the Eskimo/Inuit have or had at least with the harsh climate.
There are often discussions about the traditional life and the new one. The book was published in 1972, ten years after Island of the Blue Dolphins and the same year as Watership Down by Richard Adams. I’m seeing the trend in all these books in regard to the relationship between man and nature, all discuss them to some degree and the essential human and animal values of survival in no matter any climate. They were published in a time when the environmental movement began to take the mainstream consciousness.Â All of three of these books are also regarded as children’s books, but they hold universal messages about our links to the environment.
Julie of the Wolves is the first of a trilogy which I will finish. I did like this book, and the ending left me wanting. I usually finish the series that I start in any case.