Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer of the wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles
340 pgs.
Target audience: Ages 10-13
Rating: Wizard

Nika and her brother have been subjected to the foster home shuffle for almost two years straight when a phone call gets them sent to stay with their long lost uncle, Ian McNeil, who lives and studies wolves in the remote wilderness of Minnesota. Surrounded by lakes, thick forests, and wild, raw nature, Nika wonders what her new life will be like. While her younger brother, Randall, stays with a family on a neighboring island, Nika joins her uncle on a mission to find a tracked wolf. What they find instead is a lone wolf pup whom they bring back to the cabin to raise. Nika forms a close bond with the  pup who fills the hole in her heart left by the death of her mother. She names him Khan and through their relationship Nika learns all about wolf behavior and habitat. She knows he’ll never be able to survive in the wild again and that he belongs in a protected habitat with other wolves. This poignant and heartwarming story is about finding family in unexpected places and understanding the fragile balance between loving wild animals and leaving them be. It will tug at the heartstrings of all animal lovers. For those like me who stress over the fate of animals in books, Khan survives. This book would serve well as a source for environmental projects and reports.

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