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Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1996)
A runaway husky pup, Granite, falls in with a wolf pack and struggles to win its acceptance in this Call of the Wild for a younger audience. Granite wouldn't have stood a chance, had not the alpha male's mate, Snowdrift, just lost her pups to human breeders. To ease her grief, Ebony lets the injured dog live, though it's a precarious existence; constantly harassed by the rest of the pack, unable to catch even field mice, Granite is completely dependent on Snowdrift's maternal instincts--at least, at first. Crediting the observations of researchers Adolph Murie and David Mech, as well as a film by Jim Brandenberg, Hall portrays her wolves (and dogs) as intelligent creatures with strong feelings, an expressive language, and a well-developed social structure. People get short shrift, appearing in only a few brief scenes and mostly to do harm; a hunter's bullet blinds Snowdrift, and it's saving her from running over a cliff that finally earns Granite the entire pack's approval. While naming them, even for the purpose of clarity, introduces a false note, the wolves are not unreasonably anthropomorphized; their behavior and "feelings" seem perfectly normal given the challenges of the Alaskan wild. 1996, Houghton Mifflin, $14.95. © 1996 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Deborah Stevenson (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 1996 (Vol. 49, No. 7))
Granite is an Alaskan-born sled-dog, bred for racing, but the puppy escapes when being taken to a new home and heads for the wilderness. Lacking survival skills, he injures himself and is in danger of becoming prey when a wolf bitch, mourning her stolen puppies, adopts him into her pack. Granite struggles to adjust to wolfish rules and etiquette but remains the lowest member of the pack even as an adult, until he performs an act of heroism to save his foster mother from certain death. Granite is, as most animals are, a sympathetic protagonist, and the details of wolf and dog behavior (and the problems the differences cause) give this account a certain resonance. The plot, however, is hackneyed and sentimental, and while an introductory note describes changing attitudes towards canid behavior and the author's sources for wolf information, it is doubtful that any sources encouraged the rank anthropomorphism of statements such as "Granite thought that his mother was beautiful" and "When Granite wondered if his mother had new babies, he felt cold and lost." Kids who can't get enough of dog tales will appreciate Granite's story, but the discerning will stick with Julie of the Wolves. M--Marginal book that is so slight in content or has so many weaknesses in style or format that it should be given careful consideration before purchase. Reviewed from galleys (c) Copyright 1996, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1996, Houghton, [176p], $14.95. Grades 5-7.
|Language||Call Number||LCCN||Dewey Decimal||ISBN/ISSN|
|English (eng)||PZ10.3.H144 Ch 1996