earthy's Reviews > Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
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's review
Dec 05, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: ya
Read in November, 2009

Thirteen-year-old Miyax, also called Julie, runs away from her unhappy marriage and ends up lost in the Alaskan wilderness with only her wits and a pack of wolves to help her survive.

Miyax spends much of the book fighting for survival and trying to balance her cultural heritage as an Inuit with the modernization of the world around her. Ultimately she decides to return to civilization despite her love for the wolves, though she waffles on it quite a lot, making her final decision a bit abrupt and awkward.

Schoenherr’s sketchy black lines create lovely, textured black-and-white pictures interspersed with text throughout the book. In particular, hair, fur, and snow are rendered beautifully, adding a definite sense of place to what’s being described in the text.

As a survival story, Julie of the Wolves works well, describing in detail Miyax’s peril and her clever use of traditional Inuit knowledge to survive. As a cultural portrait, the story also works well, describing Inuit culture in detail and with integrity and compassion. On a basic story level, the plot meanders a bit, and Miyax’s final choice isn’t very fully supported, which might leave some readers confused about the rushed ending. Overall, however, the story ought to appeal to a wide audience. Winner of the 1973 Newbery Award.

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