February 20, 2018

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The Wolf’s Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn | SLJ Review

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redstarBeckhorn, Susan Williams. The Wolf’s Boy. 240p. Disney-Hyperion. Jun. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781484725535. The Wolf’s Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn

Gr 4-7 –Kai was born with a club foot and should not have lived. His mother left him with the yellow wolf mother, who had two cubs of her own, believing this was certain death for her young baby. Instead, the wolf mother nurtured Kai, and one day his human mother returned to the den to reclaim the baby she left for dead. Now, Kai is ridiculed and tormented by the other boys, including his older brother Sen. They call him “Wolfboy.” He longs to join the hunt, but tradition forbids him from even touching any of the weapons. Kai often finds himself back in the company of the yellow wolves, the only place he feels truly at home. When he happens upon a cub in need, Kai decides to take the tiny creature back to his takka and nurse her back to health. With his father’s approval, Kai keeps the cub and names her Uff. The two become instant companions. But as Uff grows, she becomes more threatening. When a terrible accident leaves Sen scarred, Kai knows that he must leave for good, embarking on a dangerous journey into the North. Beckhorn weaves together a striking account of survival and an engaging look into how the wolf became such an integral part of human life. Set in prehistoric times, Kai’s story is based on modern discoveries in France, where fossilized footprints of a boy and a canine were found walking side by side. VERDICT Strong writing and character development combined with a little-seen setting in middle grade historical fiction make this a first purchase.–Annette Herbert, F.E. Smith Elementary School, Cortland, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2016 issue.

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  1. I have gotten halfway through the book and I have laughed cried and loved all the way through