Wolf Called Wander
by Parry, Rosanne; Armiño, Mónica (ILT)

A young wolf travels one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest after being separated from his family, navigating through forest fires, avoiding hunters, and struggling with hunger before finding a new home.

Wander the wolf is a survivor whose peaceful life is destroyed when invading wolves kill his pack. He escapes his family's mountain home, leaving everything familiar behind. As he travels, a raven becomes his only companion but later abandons him to join a flock of ravens. Continuing his lonely journey, Wander is often hungry and thirsty; once he's severely injured trying to kill an elk and must spend many days recovering. He encounters unfamiliar animals, people, and dangerous highways during his long months of wandering, until, at last, he meets a female wolf with whom he can start a family and pack of his own. Wander's first-person narration may not be to every reader's taste, but it lends a unique perspective and immediacy to the story for those undeterred. Others will be drawn to the fact that Wander's story is based on an actual wolf who survived a journey of more than 1,000 miles across the Pacific Northwest. Armiņo's realistic black-and-white illustrations fill in gaps, making this memorable adventure a beautiful one as well. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Separated from his pack, Swift, a young wolf, embarks on a perilous search for a new home. Swift's mother impresses on him early that his "pack belongs to the mountains and the mountains belong to the pack." His father teaches him to hunt elk, avoid skunks and porcupines, revere the life that gives them life, and "carry on" when their pack is devastated in an attack by enemy wolves. Alone and grieving, Swift reluctantly leaves his mountain home. Crossing into unfamiliar territory, he's injured and nearly dies, but the need to run, hunt, and live drives him on. Following a routine of "walk-trot-eat-rest," Swift traverses prairies, canyons, and deserts, encountering men with rifles, hunger, thirst, highways, wild horses, a cougar, and a forest fire. Never imagining the "world could be so big or that I could be so alone in it," Swift renames himself Wander as he reaches new mountains and finds a new home. Rife with details of the myriad scents, sounds, tastes, touches, and sight s in Swift/Wander's primal existence, the immediacy of his intimate, first-person, present-tense narration proves deeply moving, especially his longing for companionship. Realistic black-and-white illustrations trace key events in this unique survival story, and extensive backmatter fills in further factual information about wolves and their habitat. A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey. (additional resources, map) (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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