A 12-year-old girl tries to fight off hungry wolves in this survival story.
Living in rural Alaska, Sloan doesn’t do well in school but already excels as a hunter. However, after spending five days lost in the woods several years earlier, she is deaf in one ear and fears being alone. Her father tries to toughen her up by leaving her alone while he takes a trip into town, but a neighbor’s accident means Sloan, her teacher, a friend, and his bad-guy dad must take her to town for a doctor. The group (all of whom appear to be white) ventures into the winter woods without adequate supplies and almost immediately realizes that the local wolf pack is following them. Although wolves rarely attack humans, these have been cut off from their natural prey and clearly see the humans as food. With far too little ammo, Sloan and her party must outrun and outwit the wolves if they are going to make it through to safety. Scott has done her research on wolves (as detailed in her author’s note) and writes from a naturalist’s perspective, never demonizing them but portraying them as highly dangerous nevertheless. Her insights into Sloan’s insecurities will ring true to many readers, while others will just enjoy the survival story.
Short but powerful, with edge-of-your-seat suspense, this is one journey that should remain in readers’ memories. (Adventure. 8-14)