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Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the Wolves

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Julie of the Wolves

évaluations:
4/5 (19 évaluations)
Longueur:
175 pages
2 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Jan 5, 2016
ISBN:
9780062429742
Format:
Livre

Description

The thrilling Newbery Medal–winning classic about an Eskimo girl lost on the Alaskan tundra. 

Julie of the Wolves is a staple in the canon of children’s literature and the first in the Julie trilogy. The survival theme makes it a good pick for fans of wilderness adventures such as My Side of the Mountain, Hatchet, or Island of the Blue Dolphins.

This edition, perfect for classroom or home use, includes John Schoenherr’s original scratchboard illustrations throughout, as well as bonus materials such as an introduction written by Jean Craighead George’s children, the author’s Newbery acceptance speech, selections from her field notebooks, a discussion guide, and a further reading guide.

To her small Eskimo village, she is known as Miyax; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When her life in the village becomes dangerous, Miyax runs away, only to find herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness.

Miyax tries to survive by copying the ways of a pack of wolves and soon grows to love her new wolf family. Life in the wilderness is a struggle, but when she finds her way back to civilization, Miyax is torn between her old and new lives. Is she Miyax of the Eskimos—or Julie of the wolves?

Don't miss any of the books in Jean Craighead George's groundbreaking series: Julie of the Wolves, Julie, and Julie's Wolf Pack.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Jan 5, 2016
ISBN:
9780062429742
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Jean Craighead George wrote over one hundred books for children and young adults. Her novel Julie of the Wolves won the Newbery Medal in 1973, and she received a 1960 Newbery Honor for My Side of the Mountain. Born into a family of famous naturalists, Jean spent her entire career writing books that celebrated the natural world.

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Aperçu du livre

Julie of the Wolves - Jean Craighead George

DEDICATION

To Luke George, who loves wolves and the Eskimos of Alaska

CONTENTS

Dedication

Foreword

Part I

Amaroq, the wolf

Part II

Miyax, the girl

Part III

Kapugen, the hunter

Bonus Materials

Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech

Julie of the Wolves: Discussion Guide

Suggested Reading List

Excerpt from Julie

Back Ad

About the Author

Credits

Copyright

About the Publisher

FOREWORD

Jean Craighead George was our mother. She made us huge breakfasts each morning, helped with our Halloween costumes, and led our Scout troops. She was also an author, who by the early 1970s had written over thirty books for children, including inspirational books like My Side of the Mountain and many others in which she taught us that humans and wildlife could live together and learn from one another. As part of her lifelong interest in wildlife, we often received orphaned animals and lived with them in our house. So, that breakfast we ate was shared at times with a crow, a raccoon, or whatever wild pet was in residence in our home at that moment.

Mom approached writing as she approached life: she got up early, worked hard, and never stopped until she was done. Before she started a writing project, she spent time reading books and scientific papers about the subject to make sure she was up-to-date on the latest scientific thinking. The books in her library were filled with underlines and marginal notes attesting to the long hours she spent mastering the often complex information. She also traveled to distant locations to observe species and become familiar with ecosystems. She would pack her notebook, binoculars, magnifying lens, field guides, and backpack and spend as much time as she could hiking, camping, sketching, and getting to know the area and the species that lived there. It was these firsthand experiences—looking into the eyes of a wolf, observing a grizzly bear fish for salmon, watching a thunderstorm on the prairie—that made her books so compelling and authentic.

As a single mother, she often brought one or more of us along on her travels, and when we were grown up, she visited us where we were doing our own naturalist work. Twig went to Katmai, Alaska, to research The Grizzly Bear with the Golden Ears (1982) and Craig hosted Mom at his field camp on the sea ice off Barrow, Alaska, where he was doing research on bowhead whales; that trip resulted in Water Sky (1987). And in 1970, Luke went to Alaska to study wolves.

Our mother was writing for Reader’s Digest at the time. She published over 200 articles throughout the 1970s and ’80s, which gave her enough dependable income to support a family and time to work on her books. In the late ’60s, new research was casting wolves in a different light. Rather than the big bad wolves of fairy tales, scientists were finding that wolves were not only integral to maintaining the health of their prey populations, they showed evidence of complex social interactions, communication, and even emotions. Mom approached Reader’s Digest with the idea of writing a piece about wolves, and in July of 1970, Luke and Mom packed their bags and set off for Barrow, Alaska.

Barrow in 1970 was a small Inupiat town with a culture that reflected the lifestyles of both the research scientists at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory (NARL) and the native people. The Arctic tundra was to be forever one of our mother’s favorite places on Earth, and the people of Barrow, some of her favorite individuals. Mom described many highlights of that trip in her Newbery speech, for though the trip had started as an assignment for Reader’s Digest, the experience ended up inspiring Julie of the Wolves. One incident Luke vividly remembers was getting lost on the tundra:

We started out from NARL with our borrowed parkas and walked inland looking at plants, birds, and frost heaves. At one point we came across a collection of human skeletons. We learned later that the land was a makeshift graveyard from the 1918 flu epidemic. Because the ground was perennially frozen and the death toll was high, many bodies could not be buried and were just left on the tundra. After walking for a few hours we turned to head back to NARL, but a fog bank had enveloped us; the tundra looked the same in every direction. I looked at Mom and she looked at me, we pointed in opposite directions, and said, I think we go that way. I felt my stomach sink; we were alone on the tundra, the weather was turning, and we had little food, no shelter, and no idea which way to go. At that point Mom calmly said, Let’s sit and eat some gorp and wait for the fog to clear. In less than an hour, the DEW stations (Defense Early Warning radar installations) located along the coast emerged from the fog and we quickly found our way back. Mom may have been thinking of that moment when she wrote, She had been lost without food for many sleeps on the North Slope of Alaska . . . the view in every direction is exactly the same (page 6 of Julie of the Wolves).

After returning from our hike, we went to the animal pens at NARL and watched a captive female wolf interact with her young, the other wolves, and the researchers. We had been invited by Dr. Michael Fox, who was an expert in wolf behavior and was studying captive wolves. Dr. Fox explained that when the female looked at Mom directly, it meant she would accept her, that Mom would be part of her pack. For days, the wolf—while calm and friendly—did not look at Mom. But during one of her last visits, the female turned and looked at her. Her golden eyes connected with my mother’s, and she was accepted. It was a moment Mom never forgot.

When Mom and Luke visited Alaska that summer, the debate about drilling for oil in Prudhoe Bay was raging. The key to drilling in Prudhoe was building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (ironically abbreviated as TAPS). Environmentalists were fighting to stop the pipeline; the state and the oil companies were pushing ahead. It was clear that the project would change Alaska forever, and once it was in place there would be no going back. Passions were high on both sides and the Inupiat people of the North Slope were conflicted. The project would generate income for the communities and provide high-paying jobs. It also would bring in outsiders and pose challenges to maintaining their traditional way of life. The conflict between old and new affected Mom deeply and became a central theme in Julie of the Wolves. When Mom returned home from Alaska, she got right to work and wrote an article about recent discoveries in the understanding of wolf behavior. It was one of her best, she thought, but Reader’s Digest decided not to use it! She was truly stunned and hurt. Authors are used to having their work criticized, edited, and even rejected, but now and then there is a story that means more than most. When those are turned down it is a soul-searching moment.

Twig was at Bennington that year:

I got a call from Mom and she sounded upset. The Digest had rejected her wolf article. She sounded very discouraged because she thought it was one of her best pieces. Why don’t you make it into a book? I asked. She paused, and with her Jean George determination she said, I will! Mom had more in mind than just the wolves; she brought together all that she had seen, read, and experienced in Alaska—Julie of the Wolves was on the way. At that moment no one knew what the book would mean to her, her readers, and even to the wolves.

The book won the Newbery Medal in 1973.

Mom’s relationship with the people of Barrow and with the animals of the tundra and ocean did not end with that trip. She returned to Barrow many times after that initial visit. Craig moved there in 1981 and with his wife, Cyd, stayed and raised a family. Our mother visited often.

Barrow lacks big, snow-covered mountains and scenic rivers, but the seemingly endless tundra surrounding it has an awesome subtle beauty. It’s a place one loves or strongly dislikes. On her first visit, Mom was charmed by the tundra and fascinated by the Inupiat people who have lived in the region for thousands of years. Her fascination would grow into deep friendships and a love of the people of Barrow and Arctic Alaska over the next forty years.

Her interest in Eskimo life may have started with her close friendship with Bob and Ellen Young in Chappaqua, New York. In the 1960s Bob had spent months in the Canadian Arctic filming the Netsilik Eskimos in one of their last traditional winter seal camps as a nomadic people. The result was the stunning film The Eskimo: Fight for Life. Craig still recalls previewing the film in his teens: We watched Bob Young’s raw footage at his home and no one moved a muscle for hours. It left us all speechless. None of us knew at that moment how important Barrow and the Arctic would become to our family. Andrew Young, Bob’s son, is now working on developing a new film based on Julie of the Wolves.

When Mom connected with someone, she maintained a strong friendship throughout her life. Mom always liked real people without pretense, and she identified with the North Slope Inupiat, which makes sense because Inupiaq literally means real or genuine people (inuk ‘person’ plus -piaq ‘real, genuine’) in the Inupiaq language. Julie’s stalwart personality in Julie of the Wolves is clearly a tribute to those friendships and the people of Barrow.

Our mother was greatly influenced by the people and culture in Barrow, and she, in turn, influenced them. Julie’s conflict was felt by many people who grew up in Barrow. One girl, Mayak, was moved to write the following letter about what Julie of the Wolves meant to her:

Dear Mrs. Jean Craighead George,

More than ten years before I was born, you wrote a story that resonates within me forty years later. Julie of the Wolves is more than a book to me; it is a girl that has broken the trail for me.

Inupiaq names are links to ancestral spirits that lived before us. My family gave me the Inupiaq name of Mayak (or Miyax) in 1985 and raised me in Julie’s hometown of Barrow, Alaska. Much like me, Julie imagines a life beyond Barrow. She is running both from and to something at the same time. Julie is strong enough to risk everything she knows for the chance of a better world, but she is also humble enough to find strength in her Inupiaq heritage and the lessons of her ancestors.

I opened your book at a moment in my life when I was struggling to release the grasp my family and community had on my soul. I yearned for more than Barrow, but I needed someone to share the heartache of leaving home behind. I found it in your words and my namesake. Our creator used you to remind me that I am not alone, and I am thankful to you both.

Most sincerely,

Mayak

Mayak is not alone; people throughout the world are thankful for Julie of the Wolves. From Barrow to Connecticut to Korea, people have identified with Julie (Miyax)—her strength, her struggles.

Mom also contributed to the movement to shed the big bad wolf reputation. In The Wolves Are Back (2008), she sums up the role that wolves play in natural communities and the changes that occur when they are returned to the wilderness.

In many ways Julie did what many of us dream of; she connected with another species and lived as part of them. Julie helped us see ourselves in the wolves. They are our furred counterparts in the wild—our wilder, better selves.

Our mother, Jean Craighead George, passed away on May 15, 2012. But she left behind her best self: her words and her vision of a world where nature and humans coexist—understanding and supporting one another.

—Luke, Twig, and Craig

Part I

AMAROQ, THE WOLF

MIYAX PUSHED BACK THE HOOD OF HER sealskin parka and looked at the Arctic sun. It was a yellow disc in a lime-green sky, the colors of six o’clock in the evening and the time when the wolves awoke. Quietly she put down her cooking pot and crept to the top of a dome-shaped frost heave, one of the many earth buckles that rise and fall in the crackling cold of the Arctic winter. Lying on her stomach, she looked across a vast lawn of grass and moss and focused her attention on the wolves she had come upon two sleeps ago. They were wagging their tails as they awoke and saw each other.

Her hands trembled and her heartbeat quickened, for she was frightened, not so much of the wolves, who were shy and many harpoon-shots away, but because of her desperate predicament. Miyax was lost. She had been lost without food

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Ce que les gens pensent de Julie of the Wolves

3.9
19 évaluations / 47 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (5/5)
    A juvenile classic I didn't read until I was in my 40s. I loved it
  • (3/5)
    I taught this book for fifth grade lit circles. The students did not like the book and complained that it was boring, but they also made some really deep connections from it. We also had a lot of really wonderful discussions about the themes within the book. While this was wonderful to experience, I would rather teach my students to love reading and learning than see it as a chore as this book made them feel.
  • (5/5)
    This book makes you really feel such strong emotions as the characters in this book do, and I like that. This story also has a great story and cast that will keep you hooked from the beginning to the end
  • (4/5)
    A 1973 Newbery Medal winner, Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George is the story of a young Inuit girl named Miyax, Julie is her English name given to her by her aunt who sends her to an American school after the death of her father. Forced into an arranged marriage at age 13 to the mentally challenged son of her father’s best friend, she flees after he tries to rape her. She becomes lost on the Alaskan tundra and survives by befriending a wolf pack. Her father had been a skilled hunter and she learned from him many of the skills she needed to survive in such a harsh environment. Her plan is to make her way to a harbour town and escape south to San Francisco where she has a pen pal friend who has invited her to stay. While the book is obviously written for a younger audience, I found it an engaging and educational read. As Miyax travels with the wolf pack, they become like a family to her, but there are some difficult decisions ahead for when she discovers that her father didn’t die but is now hunting wolves from an airplane. The simple prose and bittersweet story gives the reader a strong picture of how the original Inuit customs and culture are being forever altered by the modern world.
  • (3/5)
    "Julie of the Wolves" was a sweet story of a young girl lost in the Alaskan tundra. Having just returned from Alaska and travelling to the Arctic Circle, I enjoyed the descriptions of the harsh Arctic environment. Thankfully, I was there in summer, but talking to the locals they all mentioned the cruelty and barrenness of an Alaskan winter. I also learnt more about the behaviour of wolves and other animals native to the area and the traditions of the Alaskan Eskimos. The author's knowledge certainly shone through and the wilderness came to life for me.However, Jean Craighead George did tend to romanticise the story as thirteen-year-old Miyax/Julia never seemed to be in any real danger from other predators or from the freezing cold. I also thought her ability to communicate with the wolves happened too easily to be totally believable. However, I did love Amaroq, the alpha male, and Kapu, his young, adventurous son. For me, they were the stars of this book.Overall, "Julie of the Wolves" was a simple, coming-of-age story that dealt with survival, strength and the shifting of cultures.
  • (5/5)
    This book reminded me of "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen that I read as a child. This book showcases how one person, Julie/Miyax, can learn to live off the land and commune with nature in a way that most of us are not able to do. George makes the moments where Julie finally starts interacting with the wolves believable because they are rooted in behaviors that we can understand. She creates something that isn't fantasy-based like many children books of our modern day. This feels like a book that could actually happen.

    I am not normally engrossed into a book the way that I was this particular one. I think it was largely due to the fact that it was more rooted in present day than a lot of books are. Most books seem to want to have magic or otherworldly stuff in them, but this one doesn't try to do that. It simply showcases how Eskimos live off the land in a beautiful way.

    If you are looking for a book that will teach a young person about survival this is a good book to do that. It will showcase how one can live off the land and shows how sometimes it is necessary to be a part of nature itself. Every single moment has a purpose in this book. George doesn't start with all the details of Julie's life, but saves that for the part 2 portion of the book which makes for a much more interesting read. I highly recommend this book for a lazy afternoon where you want to read something that will keep you engaged the entire time. This book will!
  • (5/5)
    A young Eskimo girl of 13 leaves Barrow and her marriage to a young boy to seek her way to San Francisco. Out on the Alaskan north slope she loses her way and her food supplies run out. Using lessons from her father, she begins to observe the world around her and the interactions of a nearby wolf pack. The lessons she learns keep her alive. This was my second reading of this Newberry award winning book, both times as an adult, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • (5/5)
    This is the story of Julie, who runs away from her mentally handicapped husband. She gets lost in the wilderness and learns how to communicate and live with wolves. It tells a story of hardship, love, and loss. I like this book because the vivid descriptions of the wolves and their actions makes the reader feel as though he or she is actually there in the book with Julie. This book covers difficult topics such as arranged marriage, rape, drunkenness, and hunting for fun. This book challenges readers to think about their own opinions on these issues. The characters were very believable. The book gave many details about each character so the reader could picture the characters vividly. I believe the main message of this book is that we must take care of nature and overcome our struggles.
  • (3/5)
    Did not like
  • (5/5)
    Julie Edwards Miyax Kapugen is a 13-year-old Eskimo girl on the cusp between childhood and womanhood, between traditional life and modern “white” life. Orphaned and living with an aunt she dreams alternately of the years she spent living with her father at a small village and of San Francisco and the pink “mansion” where her pen pal Amy lives. She is married at thirteen to the son of her father’s good friend, an arrangement that had been made years previously, but Daniel is not a suitable husband, so Julie leaves to find her own way. She uses all the skills her father taught her regarding the traditional Eskimo life, but still she is struggling to feed herself. When she encounters a wolf pack she recalls her father’s story of wolves, so she observes them carefully and learns more about surviving on the Alaska tundra. Leaving Julie behind, she becomes Miyax, an Eskimo girl.

    This is a lovely and compelling story. More than just a coming-of-age tale, it is a tale of survival. Our young heroine has endured considerable tragedy in “modern” life; her time on the vast and unforgiving tundra will test her in ways many adults could not manage. She shows intelligence, drive, persistence, patience, empathy and spirituality. She is truly torn and her final decision on whether to stay on the tundra as Miyax or return to a village as Julie is a heart-wrenchingly difficult one.

    George paints a desolate landscape that still has beauty and majesty. Julie’s character unfolds as her confidence in her skills grows. We feel her excitement and despair. Relish her successes and worry over her missteps. The book is aimed at children ages 10 and older, but adults will enjoy it as well.

    The audio book is performed by Christina Moore, who does a wonderful job, bringing not only Julie but the animals and landscape of Alaska to life.
  • (5/5)
    I fell in love with this book as a whole. The black and white pictures here and there are nice little touches to the overall plot of the story. Children can learn about the importance of survival, individual heritages, and family in this book. I would recommend it for older children like 5th grade+.
  • (4/5)
    Fiction: Chapter BookGeorge, Jean Craighead Julie of the Wolves. Illust. by John Schoenherr. Harper & Row, 1972. 170p. Middle-schoolMiyax, a young Inuit girl, runs away from an unhappy home in Barrow in about the 1970’s and becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska in this survival tale. She encounters a wolf pack led by Amaroq, afearless leader, who accepts her as one of them. They provide her with food so that she doesn’t starve; enabling her to find her way to a village and her father, Kapugen. Lovely black and white, pen and ink illustrations add to the moving, heartfelt beauty of the story which is told as a narrative, with a straight-forward writing style.AK: Inuit culture, Barrow, North Slope, Arctic animalsActivity: Ask students if they have ever been lost. What happened? Have any of them seen a wolf? Where?
  • (4/5)
    Julie/Miyax is a 13 year old eskimo orphan who runs away from an “arranged” marriage with the son of a drunkard. Her plan is to travel to her pen pal’s family in San Fransisco. She ends up lost in the Alaskan tundra with very little food and no shelter. Then she befriends some wolves and by mimicking their behaviour is being “adopted” as one of the flock, which enables her to survive. The novel’s overall theme is that of cultural identity. Is she Julie, the name the white people give her? Or is she Miyax, the Eskimo girl of the old ways? So in two ways Miyax is lost. Can she find home and a home?The journey in the tundra is one thing, the inner journey another - and in the last respect it’s way harder to find a compass. The novel reminded me of Jean Craighead George’s "My side of the Mountain" - (I liked that one better) although in "Julie of the Wolves" much more is at stake and it’s a more serious novel.Winner of the Newbery medal - 1973 and in "1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up" - very good narration by Christina Moore.
  • (4/5)
    Have you ever ran away? Have you ever ran so far that you found yourself alone, lost, and in the wild? Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George creates an amazing story that brings readers into the world of the Eskimo ways. This book could be used in a fourth grade up to seventh grade classroom. This fictional story caught my attention when this young girl began to live amongst the wolves. However, I became depressed and saddened when she realized as a character, and I realized as a reader that she would no longer be living encompassed by the wolves, or as a traditional Eskimo.
  • (5/5)
    I'm really surprised I didn't read this book as a child. I was totally into the "kids living on their own" theme when I was in junior high. I actually wrote a book in eighth grade about a girl named Kia who escapes from her large family into a secret room in her house and then gets scurvy.

    Okay, so maybe my book wasn't exactly like this one, which is about a girl who escapes an arranged marriage by heading out onto the tundra and living on her own (with the help of a pack of wolves). But the themes of escape and self-sufficiency are in both. Well, except that my heroine wasn't exactly self-sufficient.

    Fine, my book wasn't at all like this one, but I still think I would have liked Julie of the Wolves had I read it as a kid. My eight-year-old sure loves it, but I think she loves it more for the communicating-with-animals part (the same reason she loves Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series).

    I guess I'm not sure if it would really be so easy in real life to win the trust of a wolf pack, but then I've not tried. It didn't seem so far-fetched to me that it detracted from the story, though. It was all a part of Julie/Miyax's set-apartness. I loved how everything that others saw as backward and a result of poor decision-making, Julie saw as wonderful. She was almost magical in her specialness and her self-confidence. Naturally, she chafed in the life of the city, even as she tried so hard to belong there. But then, I think Jean Craighead George painted a scene in which Eskimo culture itself was chafing in the life of the city where the compromises of the old ways proved too much to maintain a sense of self.

    This story left me feeling nostalgic for the time when magical things seemed possible to me, before grown-up pragmatism and self-consciousness boxed in and tamed that sense of possibility.

    Will Julie's magic make it through her adolescence, or will she be forced to compromise it? I'm almost too afraid to read the next books to find out.
  • (2/5)
    Not a big fan of Julie of the Wolves. Tales of children’s adventures in nature generally don’t really appeal to me, though I wish they did.
  • (2/5)
    I remember the words in this book tasting bad on my tongue. I recently skimmed a copy on my shelf for readability for a student, and it all came flooding back. I despised reading the names in my mind--I remember having an aversion to it like I have for lavender. The story itself was okay, and I may have actually liked it. "Parka" (shiver....)
  • (4/5)
    I read this one for a children's literature class. Excellent book! It's about a young woman who lives in the Tundra with only the wildlife as company.
  • (5/5)
    This book reminded me of "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen that I read as a child. This book showcases how one person, Julie/Miyax, can learn to live off the land and commune with nature in a way that most of us are not able to do. George makes the moments where Julie finally starts interacting with the wolves believable because they are rooted in behaviors that we can understand. She creates something that isn't fantasy-based like many children books of our modern day. This feels like a book that could actually happen.

    I am not normally engrossed into a book the way that I was this particular one. I think it was largely due to the fact that it was more rooted in present day than a lot of books are. Most books seem to want to have magic or otherworldly stuff in them, but this one doesn't try to do that. It simply showcases how Eskimos live off the land in a beautiful way.

    If you are looking for a book that will teach a young person about survival this is a good book to do that. It will showcase how one can live off the land and shows how sometimes it is necessary to be a part of nature itself. Every single moment has a purpose in this book. George doesn't start with all the details of Julie's life, but saves that for the part 2 portion of the book which makes for a much more interesting read. I highly recommend this book for a lazy afternoon where you want to read something that will keep you engaged the entire time. This book will!
  • (5/5)
    How had I not read this before? :)I'll admit that reading about nature is not my favorite thing but Julie is such a likeable character and she's easy to relate to. So, I can quickly read past things like how she created a sled from things in her environment to the meatier parts of the story, like her feelings for the wolf pack and her view of the world. Also, despite Jean Craighead George's easy foreshadowing, I enjoyed the twist at the end and it definitely has me itching to read the sequel!And a note of caution to readers: You will want to befriend a wolf pack after reading this. I am too much of a coward but good luck to you if you choose that route. ;)
  • (4/5)
    Deserving of the Award It WonIn spite of some of the detail of subject matter covered in the course of the novel, this book is rich in stunning visuals, and depictions of customs and rituals of disparate cultures - human and animal alike - and the expectations of both. The characters are well drawn and we, as readers, connect with them and through them with the story being told.It is a story that is both inspiring and heartbreaking at the same and alternate times; a story that questions love and loyalty in two different settings, and Julie's relationship with the wolf pack is perhaps one of the most moving and empowering parts of the storytelling, setting the tone for the human triumphs and tragedies that are also part of the story.Even the inclusion of some of the more morally risque parts of the story does not in any way lessen the appeal of this book, for what better way to challenge such abhorrent behaviours than to examine them openly; to bring them to light in a forum against which they might be discussed, because sadly, such things are still the reality of some children.
  • (4/5)
    The writing is what wins this book the Newbery Award. A reader doesn't need the illustrations to form a visual in their mind, the look, the feel, and the emotion of Eskimo life in a frozen land are so well written that they almost become a part of you. The story looks into Eskimo life, but also into the lives of wolves, helping readers to understand that every animal has a way of communicating, if we only take the time to listen.The human story is both heartbreaking and motivating. A girl runs away from a fate she hasn't chosen, to try and make her own way. Though I'm not sure that attempted rape (or being a runaway) is the right thing to include in a book for younger readers, it is important to understand that the book is meant to be read in the culture for which it was intended. Julie is a strong character who decides to protect herself, find her own destiny and makes out on her own in a way she has learned to do from her own people. Though her plans change as she journeys onward, she never loses her determination.I can see where some would prefer to read the book before giving it to a young reader, but this is still a book worthy of the golden badge it has earned on its cover. When shared together, this is a story of strength, and the bonds between humans and nature that can not be missed.
  • (3/5)
    Miyax is a young Eskimo caught between two worlds. On one side she lives a traditional Eskimo way of life; on the other she is English speaking Julie with a pen pal in San Francisco. Her mother is dead and her father has disappeared. Miyax flees from an arranged marriage across the North Slopes of Alaska. A week later she finds herself completely lost in the wilderness. A wolf pack provides her only chance of survival. Miyax studies the complexities of the pack, and learns about their behaviours. In time she is accepted by the pack A fascinating insight into the traditional Eskimo way of life, detailed and well researched.
  • (5/5)
    Another story of a survivor. Well written and very educational about Eskimo life and beliefs.
  • (5/5)
    Miyax’s struggle for survival in the barren Alaskan wilderness leads her to seek the aid of a pack of wolves she encounters. Growing to love the wolves like family, even as she depends on them to survive, Miyax must ultimately decide between continuing to follow her father’s traditional teachings or finding a new way of life. This coming of age story is also an adventure novel, a soul-searching monologue, and an environmental study; readers will come away with a greater appreciation for the natural world, for cultural traditions, and for family. Ages 10 and up
  • (4/5)
    The first thing people might be struck by, if they first read this book now, will be the outdated expressions and terminology. For example, Eskimo. The 'modern teenager' that Miyax struggles with is a teenager from the time this book was written, which is the 1970s. For those reasons alone, this book loses some points to modern readers. It's very hard to relate to a main character in a different time and from a different culture that isn't necessarily being portrayed very accurately. Doubly so when that character from another time and culture spends a good part of the book learning to communicate with animals in a way that, to be blunt, typically takes far longer and is far more complex than it's represented here. It can give a lot of false impressions.On the other hand, to older readers, this can be an interesting look at how people 30-40 years ago actually viewed another culture, so there's a weird sort of anthropological double-interest thing going on here.I have to say, though, that this book was probably one of the first to get me interested not only in other cultures (especially ones with more tribal/traditional methods of life) but also in survivalist fiction. Miyax is trapped in the Arctic, away from civilization and amenities, and thanks to an unsetting sun, cannot even navigate by stars to find her way to safety. With very little in the way of supplies, she tries to survive, eventually befriending a small local wolf pack and learning to communicate with them through gestures and posturing in order to get them to help her.For all that it sounds simple, though, there are many elements of this book that are dark and hard-hitting. The reason Miyax runs away from home in the first place is because she married at the age of 13 and her husband, a rather dull-witted boy, tries to rape her. The text actually doesn't make it clear whether he just attempted to or actually succeeded, but that doesn't take away from the trauma of the situation. Miyax believes her father to be dead, and the wolf she considers her adoptive father is later shot and killed by hunters looking to make a quick buck from the fur trade. Miyax is almost killed herself during this event.A more subtle darkness exists in the very last line of the book, one that can sadden and disillusion many. Miyax spends the book affirming and reaffirming that she is a person of tradition, that she doesn't want to follow the ways of the white people who disrespect her culture and world around her. While she has a "white" name, Julie, she dislikes it and very often refuses to use it. She is proud of her heritage and her culture. After finding out that her father is alive and well but has adopted white ways, she makes the decision to return to the tundra and to live on her own, traditionally, hunting for her food and avoiding white ways as best she can.And no sooner does Miyax decide that than the bird companion she befriended, the thing that represents the spirit of the wild to her now that her adopted wolf-father is gone, dies.And the final line of the book calls her Julie.Her entire mental pattern shifted there, with that revelation. Her pride evaporated, her strength crumbled, and all that she had clung to in the wild was gone. What choice did she have but to return to the father who forsook the old ways, thus forsaking the old ways herself, and to symbolically give herself a new life. Even when I first read that, it made me sad, though I couldn't fully articulate why.The author manages to cram some very complex and deep issues into such a short books, which is wonderful to see. However, it seems that the range of the book goes from brushes with things great and deep to long periods of somewhat shallow observation, liberally sprinkled with interesting survival methods and trivia about life in the Arctic (some of which has been proven wrong, but was believed to be true when the book was written). I can't deny that the story is interesting and the messages are ones that people ought to pay attention to, but it has such distance from today's events that I think a great deal of the books high points might be lost on modern readers.Still, I enjoyed it then, and I still enjoyed it now.
  • (4/5)
    Reasonable storyline, but beautiful evocation of the tundra, its animals and plants, the interconnected of life there with the seasons and the weather. Subtle and beautiful.
  • (4/5)
    This Book is set in Arctic Alaska, features wolves as main characters. In Part I, a 13 year old Eskimo girl, Miyax, runs away from an arranged marriage and gets lost on the tundra. Using what she has learned from her father, she befriends a pack of wolves and gets them to accept her almost as a member of the pack in order to survive in this harsh and unforgiving terrain. In the part II is a flashback telling about young Miyax's life before getting lost and how she got her a pen pal and how life is different there and she gets a white name, Julie. Finally, in Part III of the story, the story returns to Miyax/Julie back on the tundra where the wolves have left for their winter grounds. She must now struggle alone, but eventually finds her way to the village where her long-lost father is living, having adopted the ways of white society. She then must decide if she wants her future to be a connection with her Eskimo past or if she wants to change with the times like her father has.Besides being a compelling adventure story, the book also teaches about wolf behavior and social structure of nature and mankind. There may be some Eskimo words in the book but the translation is in the back of the bookI would rate this book for children over 10 because it may have some parts that are not suitable for younger children.
  • (4/5)
    This is a great "issues" book for middle graders published in 1972 about a 13-year-old Eskimo girl who must learn to adjust to a reality increasingly tangled up between the old world of traditions and the new world of the gussaks, or white-faced. In Part I of this short book, Miyax (called Julie in English), decides to run away and stay with a pen pal in San Francisco, but gets lost without sufficient food on the North Slope of Alaska. She comes upon a wolf pack, and in desperation, determines that her life depends on the pack accepting her and helping her survive. This is the story of how she accomplishes that goal. In Part II, we find out how Miyax got in her present predicament, and in Part III, we learn how it is resolved. This book has been banned in some school districts. The reason is that Julie, although only 13, has been married off to Daniel, a young Eskimo boy. Generally, these arrangements are ignored until the children grow. But Daniel is teased, and so tries to have his way with Julie. Fortunately for Julie, Daniel, who is "slow," doesn't actually know what to do once he has knocked Julie down, and she escapes. It is then she decides she must run away. Aside from just a few pages, most of the book is about Julie and her attempts to become a part of a wolf pack. She observes the wolves hour after hour, and learns what different behaviors and sounds communicate. She quickly learns which wolf is the “wealthy” wolf, or the leader. (She had learned from Eskimo hunters that “the riches of life were intelligence, fearlessness, and love.”) She bravely tries to emulate what she sees and hears, so that the wolves will think she is one of them. When she finally makes it back to "civilization," she finds that the village of people is not so civilized after all, and that someone she idolized is also not the hero she believed him to be. Evaluation: This heart-warming book, winner of the 1973 Newberry Medal, is not as fast-paced as more recent books, but will give children a great deal to think about and discuss. I found the story charming and liked the resilence and faith of the character of Miyax.There are two sequels, Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack.
  • (4/5)
    While I was familiar with some version of this as a young person, this is my first recollection of ever reading this book. I found it moving, engaging, and tragic, yet realistic. The young hera/ heroine Julie/Miyax deals with the shifting expectations on the border between innocence and experience, childhood and adulthood, Arctic First Nations and white ways, and more.