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Lone Wolves

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"A beautiful and moving story of courage and love."—Ray Bradbury

Praise for The Great Death:

"An amazing story."—Frank McCourt

"Gripping and poignant. . . . An unforgettable survival tale."—Horn Book

"A beautiful, poignant story."—Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize winner

"Graphically illustrates the effects of a plague on isolated peoples."—School Library Journal

"An engaging tale of sur
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Leapfrog Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Ms. Yingling
Denny loves the traditional ways of her native Alaskan family, and has been learning the language from her grandfather, with whom she also shares a love of the outdoors and dog sled racing. She is driven to do well in school, even though she sees that other students are giving in to the despair rampant in her community. She and her grandfather have plans to enter a big race, but her plans are changed when a tragedy occurs. Denny realizes that she needs to strike a balance between embracing tradi ...more
Paul Baker
This is the compelling story of an Alaskan Native American/Caucasian girl who lives in a small village with her mother, grandmother and grandfather, who teaches her how to mush. As the only one in her village who is interested in the tribal language and social values, she becomes the repository of her culture, even though she is reviled by both Native Americans and Whites for being a cross-breed. The story leads her to a friendship with a black wolf and entry into the Great Race with her grandfa ...more
Bethany Zimp
Mar 26, 2014 Bethany Zimp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young adult novel about a Native Alaskan teenage girl who runs and completes the Iditarod, with a tamed wolf as her lead dog. (Although the book never calls the sport anything but 'the Great Race' - is this due to licensing of the Iditarod name?) Apparently the author is the last person to speak his Athabascan language and collect poetry/stories of his tribe, so both are sprinkled liberally throughout the book, in a refreshingly educational manner. My only objection to the work was a few error ...more
The Library Lady
All of the blurbs about this book are by adult writers of note, but this is intended as a kids book and as such is not terribly impressive.The language is awkward and amateurish and downright pedantic.The plot is pat.The glossary and other notes in the back are clearly aimed at much older readers.

I fear that the glowing reviews of this book (including the one I must have read in Kirkus) are more about the fact that the author is the last speaker of his native language and because he IS a Native
Mar 15, 2015 Lindsey rated it really liked it
Not only is this one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen, but this is one of the greatest adventure books that I have ever read! It is especially great for young women who mostly have to contend with the boys getting the adventure seat. In essence of Call of the Wild, Balto, and White Fang Smelcer has designed a story that will remain close to my heart.

The author, an Alaskan native himself, has caught the true spirit of the Alaskan Wilderness and the heart of her native people. Not only
Feb 16, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it
Deneena Yazzie, Denny to most, is a 16 year old native Alaskan. Don’t call her an Eskimo, she’s an Indian. Her closest friend is her grandfather, who has been teaching her their native language, seldom spoken by anyone other than the dwindling elders. She spends most of her time, other than school where she doesn’t fit in, mushing. Eight dogs pull the wooden sled her grandfather hand-built years ago, while he follows nearby on his snowmobile. Her grandfather encourages Denny to compete in her fi ...more
Bob Wake
Aug 22, 2013 Bob Wake rated it it was amazing
[Advance review from]

The heroine of John Smelcer’s contemporary wilderness novel Lone Wolves is a 16-year-old high school student of Native Alaskan heritage whose rugged optimism stands in stark contrast to the cultural death spiral of her classmates and village community. Deneena “Denny” Yazzie is a dogsledder with aspirations to enter the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Her friends have largely fallen prey to drug and alcohol abuse, or teen pregnancy, such as the c
Sixteen-year-old Denny is proud of her Native Alaskan heritage. She loves spending time with her grandfather who is only too happy to teach her the indigenous language and cultural traditions. While her friends fall into drug and alcohol abuse, Denny is more interested in dog sledding with her grandfather. When he dies suddenly of a heart attack, Denny decides to enter in the Iditarod Trail sled dog race to make her grandfather proud.

This story has a very dark backdrop. There is the suicide of a
Sarah Richards
Jun 26, 2014 Sarah Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with my husky at my feet while wishing for it to be snowing. I am sure I will read this book again come winter with a cup of coffee to ward away the delightful chill of winter.

I found this book to be well researched. All the information on dog sledding, the native culture and geographic region was not only correct but integrated into the story. Part of the books purpose was also a plot thread of the main character.

I enjoy this read.
Tammy Hastings
Dec 14, 2013 Tammy Hastings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads-wins
I received a copy of this book through the First Reads Giveaways.

I enjoyed this book. It is set against a beautiful Alaskan snowy backdrop.

It was a lovely book, very well-written, and yet, also heartbreakingly sad.

I really fell in love with the protagonist. I normally don't enjoy stories about teenagers, as the plots are usually superficial and trite, but in this case, her age did not detract from the story at all. To be so young, she seemed to have experienced so much.

Beautiful story by an inc
Lone Wolves is similar to Jack London's "Call of the Wild". Although this story follows sixteen year old girl, Denny, who has a love for the wilderness passed down from her Gradfather Joseph Yazzie. She is the only teenager her age who has learned their peoples' language along with being a young dog sledding enthusiast. There is a point where her hobby becomes a way of making money for her family. Denny is met with opposition, but through courage and a little help from a new friend, she brings p ...more
Nov 08, 2013 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, amazing
This book was so good and so sad. Also beware of spoilers. Really if I would say who recommeneded the book to me was me and probably the book. Yes the book caught my eye and I wanted to read it badly. It was really cool that she liked her language. I was shocked nobody else wanted to learn the language. My favorite part was probably when she gave up the race to save another player. I was really proud and sad for her. Well this book was good and it was sad that it had to come to a end just like e ...more
C.M. Rivers
Dec 08, 2013 C.M. Rivers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story from a wonderful storyteller.
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John E. Smelcer is the poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and the author of more than forty books. He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and is now the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna.

His forthcoming novel, LONE WOLVES is being partially funded via an Indiegogo campaign. Check out this video and the unusual gifts offered. Among them, you can choose an autographed, numbered, l
More about John E. Smelcer...

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