THE WOLF'S BOY by Susan Williams Beckhorn
Kirkus Star

THE WOLF'S BOY

Age Range: 9 - 14
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Sometime in prehistory, a crippled boy and his wolf companion face coming-of-age challenges.

Twelve-year-old Kai was not supposed to live. Born with a crippled foot, he would be a burden to his community, so his father left the infant Kai near a wolf den. Instead of killing him, though, the wolves nurture him. When Kai’s mother discovers her infant is still alive, she brings him back to the family, where he grows up bullied and considered cursed. One day, Kai brings home a weak, motherless wolf pup to raise—an unheard-of event. Beckhorn skillfully explores the early beginnings of the human-wolf interaction that led to modern-day dogs in heartwarming scenarios that show the growing bond between Kai and the pup, Uff. But when Uff is threatened by the community’s leader, Kai and Uff set out to try to survive on their own in the territory of the feared Ice Men. Painting her prehistoric world with now-extinct animals, pristine landscapes, and descriptions of survival techniques that will fascinate readers, Beckhorn also makes it an accessible one by giving Kai the fears and doubts of many adolescents searching for their roles in life. As Kai faces challenges, he comes to believe in his unique talents and, ultimately, in himself.

This bracing, well-told story, laced with themes of self-responsibility, compassion, and honor, is both vital and nourishing. (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: June 7th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4847-2553-5
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016




BEST MIDDLE-GRADE MYSTERY & ADVENTURE STORIES OF 2016:

ChildrenTHE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME by Karen Rivers
by Karen Rivers
ChildrenPAX by Sara Pennypacker
by Sara Pennypacker
ChildrenDIVE! by Deborah Hopkinson
by Deborah Hopkinson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSOJO by Pam Flowers
by Pam Flowers
ChildrenISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS by Scott O'Dell
by Scott O'Dell
ChildrenHATCHET by Gary Paulsen
by Gary Paulsen