Book Review: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

I’d meant to read this book for a while now. After enjoying Clan of the Cavebear, I found it while researching similar stories.

The story follows thirteen-year-old Julie, aka Miyax, as she escapes the arranged marriage of her Eskimo village. Hoping to board a ship for San Francisco, she finds herself lost in the wilderness with a wolf pack as her only hope for survival. She has to observe the wolves to learn their language and become accepted by them.

From what I’d heard about the novel, I thought it was all about survival, sort of like Gary Paulsen. But there was more to it than that. Part 1 is all about Julie becoming acclimated to life with the wolves. Part 2 flashes back to her life prior to running away—to the problems with the boy she was forced to marry as well as the family situation leading to the marriage. Part 3 merges the two: so close to “escaping” to the United States, Julie witnesses air hunters gun down one of the members of her wolf tribe, leaving her to question whether she really wants to join “civilization” after all.

This was a fast read. At 200 short pages, I read it in just two days. I will admit, I was hoping for more focus on survival, the way Paulsen novels do, but I did enjoy the balance of internal conflict with the external journey. As a dog lover, the friendliness of the pack renewed my love for my own “pack” of corgis, and it’s a story I will share with my daughter once she is old enough.


Don’t forget to enter my giveaway: To celebrate summer reading, I’m running a giveaway. The winner will receive the used copy of Pirates Past Noon, an autographed copy of Corgi Capers: Deceit on Dorset Drive, and a code for a free download of The Scarred Letter. You can enter using the rafflecopter link here.

In the meantime, good luck, happy summer, and happy reading!

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