Call of the Wild

3 CDs. 3:21 hrs. Dreamscape Media. 2013. $39.99. ISBN 9781629230306. MP3-CD.
Gr 7 Up—In this new audiobook edition, London's classic adventure story (originally pubished in 1903) presents a vivid exploration of a world that will not be too familiar to the average young reader. The plot revolves around Buck, a St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix, who was the personal pet of Judge Miller in California's Santa Clara Valley. While strolling around the ranch as he was wont to do, Buck is taken by Manuel, the judge's gardener, and then sold to pay off some of Manuel's gambling debts. Crated and shipped off to Seattle, Buck's life is forever changed, as he finds himself in the hands of French-Canadians who take him, along with several other dogs, to the Klondike. There he is trained to be a sled dog, and Buck quickly learns the meaning of survival of the fittest. A fierce rivalry develops between Buck and the lead dog, Spitz, and, eventually, it is a fight to the death. Matthew Steward does an excellent job of bringing the bitterly cold and brutal world of Buck and the other sled dogs to life. Steward's enactment of the various human characters, their abuse and ruthless treatment of the dogs, will keep listeners captivated to the very end. Whether or not listeners are familiar with London's original, this audiobook will undoubtedly bring a better understanding of what it takes to live in a world that is wild and threatening, and through London's use of human emotions and traits that Buck reveals in this bitter, cold, wild adventure, it is one not easily forgotten.—Sheila Acosta, Cody Library, San Antonio, TX

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