Books by Jean Craighead George

GALÁPAGOS GEORGE by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 8, 2014

"A heartfelt if imperfect tribute to one George by another who will also be missed. (key terms, timeline, resources) (Picture book. 5-8)"
The passing of Lonesome George, the last of the saddleback tortoises from the island of Pinta, provides the occasion to demonstrate how different species might descend from a common ancestor. Read full book review >
ICE WHALE by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 3, 2014

"A fitting envoi for a writer whose most enduring tales of nature and survival are required childhood reading. (map, whale portrait) (Adventure. 10-13)"
George's last novel, completed by her sons Twig and Craig, traces a 200-year cycle of devastation, change and recovery in Arctic waters. Read full book review >
A SPECIAL GIFT FOR GRAMMY by Jean Craighead George
Released: May 1, 2013

"Unexpected gifts for both Grammy and Hunter are the results from George's satisfying ending; the book is ideal for prompting discussions about ripple effects and the power of imagination. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A bond built on love, understanding and trust between a grandmother and her grandson proves pleasantly surprising for all involved. Read full book review >
THE EAGLES ARE BACK by Jean Craighead George
Released: March 21, 2013

"A heartwarming culmination to a distinguished career. (Picture book. 5-9)"
George, who chronicled the return to America's wild places of wolves and buffalo in two similar titles, now celebrates the comeback of the American bald eagle with a combination of fact and imagination. Read full book review >
THE BUFFALO ARE BACK by Jean Craighead George
Released: May 1, 2010

"Environmental good news. (Informational picture book. 5-10)"
Beginning and ending with the joyous birth of a calf, George describes the eradication of bison from the American plains, subsequent ecosystem damage, return of the species and restoration of the tall grass prairie in this companion to The Wolves Are Back (2008). Read full book review >
THE LAST POLAR BEAR by Jean Craighead George
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

"Ultimately, though, this is troublingly didactic. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Returning to the Arctic, George presents a tale that is simultaneously a warning about global warming/pollution and a surreal meeting between a boy and Nanuq, the polar bear. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2009

"Cat lovers and George's fans will be happy she is back. (Fiction. 8-12)"
A cruel woman and her abusive children once owned Ratchet, a young, orange, female tabby. Read full book review >
THE WOLVES ARE BACK by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 1, 2008

"For reading aloud or reading alone, this is a splendid way to share an appreciation for the natural world. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-12)"
Lush, naturalistic paintings and gentle, carefully chosen words celebrate the return of wolves to the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. Read full book review >
GOOSE AND DUCK by Jean Craighead George
Released: Jan. 8, 2008

"Satisfyingly down-to-earth. (Easy reader. 5-7)"
George, renowned for blending respect for nature with compelling story craft, introduces biological basics such as imprinting and avian migration in this gentle easy reader. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Realistic watercolors capture the luminous grandeur of the Catskills as well as naturalistic details of the lives of its denizens. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The story of Frightful, "legendary peregrine falcon of the Catskills" continues in this visually splendid tale of Frightful's daughter Oski and her encounter with a wily weasel. Read full book review >
LUCK by Jean Craighead George
Released: May 1, 2006

"Although an author's note more fully describing current thinking on the way migratory birds 'map' their routes would be welcome, this nevertheless stands as an engaging look at a process with which most kids are probably unfamiliar. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)"
A very dim sandhill crane earns his name as he migrates from Texas to Siberia and back again. Read full book review >
CHARLIE’S RAVEN by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"A remarkable intergenerational tale with the beautiful landscape of the Grand Teton Mountains as a backdrop. (Fiction. 9-13)"
George delivers another inspiring story in which nature plays a profound role in the life of a child. Read full book review >
FIRE STORM by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Despite the danger, and Axel's keenly felt pleasure at being immersed in the natural world, this is unlikely to draw young readers away from their armchairs. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A rafting expedition down the Middle Fork of Idaho's Salmon River turns suddenly deadly for the outdoorsy lad introduced in Cliff Hanger (2002). Read full book review >
FRIGHTFUL’S DAUGHTER by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"The best use of this volume may be as a 'prequel' to the related novels, as a means of introducing children to Sam Gribley's intriguing world. (Picture book. 5-10)"
With this story for younger children, prolific Newbery Medalist George (Cliff Hanger, p. 732, etc.) continues the wilderness saga of young Sam Gribley and his peregrine falcon friend, Frightful, the beloved main characters of the My Side of the Mountain trilogy. Read full book review >
CLIFF HANGER by Jean Craighead George
Released: May 1, 2002

"Despite its lightweight treatment of what could have been a compelling story, dog-lovers, weather-watchers, and budding adventurers may appreciate this additional purchase. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A disappointing effort from this well-respected pair. Read full book review >
NUTIK AND AMAROQ PLAY BALL by Jean Craighead George
Released: June 30, 2001

"Rand's pictures combine glorious color with lively characterization of both the boy and the puppy-like wolfling. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Amaroq, the boy, is named for a great wolf leader; the wolf pup, Nutik, is like his brother, characters drawn from Julie's Wolf Pack (1997) and first introduced for younger readers in Nutik, the Wolf Pup (2001). Read full book review >
TREE CASTLE ISLAND by Jean Craighead George
Released: May 1, 2001

"The ink sketches of flowers and scenery are an attractive addition. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Fourteen-year-old Jack has built his own canoe, and on a hot August dawn, he sets off for her maiden voyage in his beloved Okefenokee Swamp. Read full book review >
NUTIK, THE WOLF PUP by Jean Craighead George
Released: Feb. 28, 2001

"As a young introduction to the Julie stories, this has great appeal, but it stands alone as a heartwarming story of a boy and his dog (or, in this case, his wolf). (Picture book. 6-8)"
In this story, "first told in Julie's Wolf Pack [1997]," a little Eskimo boy is given a wolf's name: Amaroz, after the leader of the wolf pack that had saved his lost and starving older sister. Read full book review >
SNOW BEAR by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"While children will enjoy this romantic view of Bessie and the bear, those seeking a more realistic representation of life in this harsh environment will be unsatisfied. (Picture book. 5-8)"
In this sweetly sentimental story set in the frozen twilight of an Arctic spring, George (Morning, Noon, and Night, p. 699, etc.) tells of an Inuit girl who goes out to hunt. Read full book review >
Released: May 31, 1999

"Precise horizontal paintings provide a mural of the country; while not all animals mentioned in the text are depicted, brief endnotes identify creatures and general locales by page number. (Picture book. 5-8)"
As the earth turns from day to night, George (Julie's Wolf Pack, 1997, etc.) honors creatures of the American landscape. Read full book review >
JULIE'S WOLF PACK by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 30, 1997

"The wolf's-eye view will draw new readers to the books, but fans of the first books, already well-versed in wolf society, may find many of the situations repetitive. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Completing the switch in narrative view begun in Julie (1994), the sequel to Julie of the Wolves (1972), George continues her tale of the Avalik River pack entirely from the standpoint of its members: Kapu, the young new alpha; his daughter and successor, Sweet Fur Amy; Ice Blink, a lone wolf who carries rabies—and Willow Pup Julie, who lives in town but puts in appearances to inspect new pups or perform rescues. Read full book review >
LOOK TO THE NORTH by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 11, 1997

"Washburn, in her first book, has created sweet tableaux of wolves in the wild: purple and lilac landscapes and fluffy, smiling wolves. (Picture book. 5-9)"
A charming but sentimental book about the first months in the lives of wolf pups, from birth to young adult. Read full book review >
THERE'S AN OWL IN THE SHOWER by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 30, 1995

"The book is edifying, if not particularly engrossing; David Klass's California Blue (1994) is aimed at older readers, but wraps similar themes in a stronger story. (Fiction. 9-12)"
An out-of-work logger amazes his family by caring for a rare spotted owl chick in this informative, agenda-laden story. Read full book review >
EVERGLADES by Jean Craighead George
Released: May 30, 1995

"Get Off Our Train (1990), but has powerful moments, including a convincing message, poetically told. (Picture book. 5+)"
"I am going to tell you a story....It's a story about a river," says a storyteller to several children in a boat in this tale. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 30, 1994

"But there is something in all the tales, each of which is wonderfully illustrated by Merrill's paintings and told by George with grace and sensitivity. (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
Well-known naturalist and author George writes an inspiring celebration of ten beloved animals and the feats that made them famous. Read full book review >
JULIE by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 30, 1994

"Interesting Eskimo village lore, and more lupine detail, but the unifying theme here—Miyax saving the wolves—is not nearly as arresting as the original. (Fiction. 10+)"
This sequel to 1973 Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves continues the story of Julie Edwards Miyax Kapugen, the girl who traveled across the tundra with her adoptive wolf pack. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Six conservation organizations are to benefit. (Anthology. 6-12)"
Again, an all-star collaboration in aid of a worthy cause: Mother Earth herself. Read full book review >
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING by Jean Craighead George
Released: Aug. 31, 1993

"The Indians thought of it as a Green Corn Dance'), this beautiful book brings fresh insight and a fairer balance to the traditional story. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5+)"
In a lucid, graceful narrative that begins with the arrival of Plymouth Rock (a unique European specimen left by a glacier "In a time so long ago that only the rocks remember") and that describes the Patuxets' settlement, its devastation by white men's disease, and Squanto's tragic captivity before going on to the Puritan venture, George returns—in specific, unsentimental detail—to the real historical events, quietly emphasizing the Native Americans' relationship with the land and the many things they taught the newcomers about using its bounty. Read full book review >
Released: May 30, 1993

"Otherwise: fascinating and (especially for budding naturalists) inspiring. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Sensibly omitting the kind of human drama that encumbered The Missing 'Gator of Gumbo Limbo' (1992), a fine author focuses again on the careful observation of nature. Read full book review >
Released: April 30, 1992

"George is a fine writer; and though the message is heavy-handed, it's one about which many young people are deeply concerned. (Fiction. 8-12)"
The naturalist-novelist returns to the genre she invented in Who Really Killed Cock Robin? (1971) with a mystery incorporating a wealth of details about a threatened Florida habitat. Read full book review >
Released: April 10, 1990

"An authentic, well-written introduction to the ecology of an important endangered environment."
In the manner of her four other One Day books, George follows Tepui, an Indian boy of the Venezuelan rain forest, and a naturalist who is studying the rich, doomed environment about to be bulldozed and burned for farm land. Read full book review >
SHARK BENEATH THE REEF by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 30, 1989

"Excellent writing; a fine portrait of a unique region; an involving, well-crafted story."
The true protagonist here is not 14-year-old Tomas—a Mexican boy who must decide whether to follow the family trade of fisherman or to stay in school, perhaps becoming a marine biologist—but his Baja California home, to which George brings her contagious enthusiasm as a naturalist. Read full book review >
ONE DAY IN THE WOODS by Jean Craighead George
Released: Oct. 12, 1988

"Allen's black-and-white illustrations are delicate and precise; it's a tribute to George's evocative prose that the flasher artwork of other nature books is not missed."
As in One Day in the Prairie, . . .Alpine Tundra, and. . .Desert, George explores the ecology of an area through the observations of a patient child. Read full book review >
WATER SKY by Jean Craighead George
Released: March 1, 1987

"Readers will be the richer for pondering them."
George, known for fine fiction with carefully researched natural history as a theme, won a Newbery for Julie of the Wolves; in this new story, also set in the far north, Lincoln Noah Stonewright, named at the request of his father's Eskimo mentor, Vincent, for the great protectors of men and of animals, comes from his Massachusetts home to Barrow to meet Vincent and find his beloved Uncle Jack, already in Alaska to save the bowhead whale from extinction. Read full book review >
ONE DAY IN THE PRAIRIE by Richard Cowdrey
Released: Oct. 9, 1986

A fine novelist (her Julie of the Wolves won a Newbery) and naturalist describes a day's events in an Oklahoma wildlife refuge. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 1985

"George herself has raised over 200 domestic and wild creatures) and findings of numerous renowned and lesser-known animal behaviorists."
Nature-writer George here offers insight into animal communication—specifically, how dogs, cats, birds, and horses "talk" with other members of their species, and how people can learn to communicate with (and train) their pets more effectively. Read full book review >
Released: March 28, 1984

"The internal drama provides momentum and assures interest."
A meaningful, meaty presentation—just what its predecessor in this new series, One Day in the Desert, wasn't—with precise and engaging illustrations besides. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 26, 1983

"Among other superior entries along these lines is George's own Moon of the Wild Pigs (1968)."
A wisp of an incident overloaded with factual matter—too much factual matter for the young, picture-story format in any case. Read full book review >
THE JOURNEY INWARD by Jean Craighead George
Released: May 1, 1982

"Chiefly for those who do recognize the by-line-but with some potential for other conflicted women."
Anyone watching juvenile by-lines saw the step-by-step change, characteristic of our time, from Vulpes, the Red Fox (1948), by John and Jean George, to the Newbery runner-up My Side of the Mountain (1959), by Jean George, to the Newbery medalist Julie of the Wolves (1972), by Jean Craighead George. Read full book review >
THE CRY OF THE CROW by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 23, 1980

"The story is full of similar well-meaning misses."
A babyish, off-base, tiresome story about a girl and her pet crow, which she must keep secret because her father and brothers shoot crows to protect their strawberry crop. Read full book review >
RIVER RATS, INC. by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 17, 1979

"George does better with the survival story and the feral child than with the dumb scheme that sets the trip in motion, but the relationships among the three boys conforms too patly to the author's own scheme, and this has none of the moving qualities of My Side of the Mountain or Julie of the Wolves."
Just out of junior high school, Joe and his friend Crowbar are hired by Joe's uncle (Joe lives with him in a trailer) to run a dead man's ashes down a dangerous stretch of the Colorado River, traveling by night to avoid Park Service patrols, and to dump the urn of ashes overboard at Lava Falls. Read full book review >
THE WOUNDED WOLF by John Schoenherr
Released: Sept. 6, 1978

When a gravely wounded wolf stumbles up Toklat Ridge, a scouting raven calls out his signal of coming death. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 23, 1978

"Included are maps, reading lists, and a summary of biotic communities."
The ambitious hiker can set off from coast to coast (almost) on the North Country Trail from New York's Adirondacks to North Dakota, where it joins the route of Lewis and Clark. Read full book review >
THE WENTLETRAP TRAP by Jean Craighead George
Released: Jan. 1, 1978

"This might be sufficient consolation for Dennis, but it's a weak sort of reward for readers who expect more than a quick hug and a peek at the hermit crab's housing habits."
Bimini islander Dennis would like to have "a boat and a grapple and a net and a bucket AND a fine big hat" so that he can "take good care of himself" like his conch fisherman father. Read full book review >
GOING TO THE SUN by Jean Craighead George
Released: April 1, 1976

"George's gushy, clichéd prose makes this read even worse than it sounds; it's clear that she derives more inspiration from Romulus and Remus than from Romeo and Juliet."
Though Jean George has always had her ups and downs, it's hard to believe that the author of Julie of the Wolves could produce this pulpy drivel. Read full book review >
Released: May 20, 1975

"And though no one can fault this author's ecology and woodspersonship, the fast-paced mystery plotting she gave a similar theme in Who Really Killed Cock Robin (KR, 1971) is absent from this more thinly populated and leisurely fish story."
Spinner Shafter—even her name is a reflection of her father's determination to raise a fisherman (though she herself would rather be a dancer)—astounds her relatives and wins the family trophy from Uncle Auggie by hooking a huge cutthroat trout, a variety thought to' have vanished from the area. Read full book review >
ALL UPON A SIDEWALK by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 30, 1974

"We would prefer more explanation of the 'chemical messages' and fewer exclamation marks denoting ecstasy or panic, but there seems to be a niche for this sort of nature writing."
We'll never understand why so many competent juvenile authors choose to write about ants, those most unindividualized of creatures, in terms of the adventures of one individual — who is often referred to by her species name (here Lasius flavus) as if it's her own personal one. Read full book review >
JULIE OF THE WOLVES by John Schoenherr
Released: Nov. 10, 1972

"Though remarkable Miyax and her experience are totally believable, her spirit living evidence of the magnitude of the loss."
Running away from an arranged marriage with simpleminded Donald, thirteen year-old Julie (she prefers Miyax, her Eskimo name) survives on the barren tundra by making friends with a family of wolves. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1971

"The tone of the whole adventure is buoyant, and the ecological complexities that constitute its theme are so neatly reflected in the plot that the scientific search for Cock Robin's murderer has an edge-of-the-chair excitement."
The web of life is revealed in all its intricacy when Tony Isidoro, an eighth grader who has inherited the zoology project interrupted by his older brother's call to army service, works with the local mill owner's 12-year-old daughter, and later with his brother's zoologist friend from the college, to solve a murder that has baffled and grieved the town of Saddleboro. Read full book review >
ALL UPON A STONE by Jean Craighead George
Released: Feb. 18, 1971

"Nonetheless and not the least, there is the mole cricket's plaintive crackling."
Fundamental, and fertile per se, is the idea of a single rock as a micro-environment: threaded through, in effect supplying a plot line, is the compulsive search of a mole cricket for another of his kind — a search that climaxes, after many creatures have been bypassed, in a primal outcry ("He crackled his loneliness. Read full book review >
BEASTLY INVENTIONS by Jean Craighead George
Released: Oct. 1, 1970

Every animal is an astonishment" and science, continually, "opens new doors on earth" and this catchall of curiosities in the animal world contains many amazing small items that Mrs. George has apparently been collecting for years. Read full book review >
THE MOON OF THE MOLES by Jean Craighead George
Released: Jan. 19, 1970

"Vividly informative—a remark that encompasses the potent pen drawings also."
In his seven-month life the male mole has dug four miles of runways-based on five major tunnel-routes—but he has "never been out of the soil"; he has not seen the light nor is he affected by day and night, living instead on a ten-hour cycle set by his body-needs: five hours to search for food, five to sleep. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 19, 1970

"Looser and less obviously useful than some of its predecessors, this has nevertheless a unique lesson: out of his element the sparrow retains his sense of the seasonal cycle."
The song sparrow in the Ohio dooryard in December has become a winter bird inadvertently: "his inner signal (to migrate) had not functioned." Read full book review >
THE MOON OF THE DEER by Jean Craighead George
Released: Aug. 15, 1969

"But it does register the effects of the storm quite thoroughly and may be useful on that account."
The September moon brings a restless combativeness to the young spike buck; it also brings a hurricane to his Connecticut tidal marsh, and though we see him torn between the urge to fight his eight-point elder and a self-protective fear, it is his survival of the storm, and the response of the other shore creatures, that is the focal point here. Read full book review >
COYOTE IN MANHATTAN by Jean Craighead George
Released: March 15, 1968

"A last-minute carlift by Tenny and Puerto Rican pal Jose (who gives up a chance to 'get away from 109th Street and all the poverty') takes him to the Adirondacks and a new lease on life—a fittingly unlikely ending to a preposterous story."
Coyote in Manhattan = insurrection in Harlem, consternation on Fifth Avenue and headaches for the Board of Health. Read full book review >
HOLD ZERO by Jean Craighead George
Released: Sept. 16, 1966

Craig Sutton and three of his equally enterprising young friends three-stage booster rocket in a small New York state town. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 14, 1965

"The author has captured and conveyed a sense of the simultaneity of ocean life and the awesome variety of its creatures."
Starting with a hermit crab off the coast of Florida warmed into desperate house hunting activity by the gradually increasing heat of the springtime sunshine, the talented author follows the coastline all around the United States to show what else is new under the sea at that time of year. Read full book review >
THE SUMMER OF THE FALCON by Jean Craighead George
Released: Oct. 15, 1962

"The views of falconry are exciting and one wishes there were more of Zander and less of June."
A somewhat tipsy song in praise of the raptures and rough spots in adolescent girlhood with a falcon named Zander bearing the brunt of the symbolism. Read full book review >