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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  52 reviews
A young wolf seeks the bravery to be himself in this lyrical homage to challenging societal stereotypes, from the author of National Book Award Finalist Mean Margaret and The Wainscott Weasel.

Wolves. Predators of the wild. Stalkers of the forests. Born into rankings and expected to live up to their roles. Blue Boy, the alpha male of his pack, is the largest wolf many have
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  227 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who love: Wolves, Yellowstone, adventure, animals, beautiful/brutal,

This book is so magical and perfect, I don't think I'll ever stop rereading it.

When I first read Firstborn, I had had a sprung ankle and couldn't do much besides reading. I remember when my dad brought me a bag of books from Barnes & Noble one night (He'd made many trips there for books to keep me busy while I was recovering), and among them was Firstborn. The cover is what caught my attention, of course, because wolves are my favorite predator. But there was something else about it, for every
Carol Kennedy
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tristate-reviews
Maggie the Magpie is grateful that Blue Boy the wolf has saved her from becoming a fox’s dinner, and she casts her lot with him and his pack. Each animal has a distinct personality, and the social interactions among them are intriguing if anthropomorphic. Relationships are complex, based on who saved whose life , who mates with whom, and who the alpha animal is. The importance of family solidarity is paramount as the pack battles rivals and humans. The story relies heavily on fantasy, with anima ...more
While I knew it was not going to be all rainbows and unicorns because it was an animal story, there was a lot of death and danger. I get that it's a survival story, but I couldn't help but get distracted and think, again? The book seems to sway from a character being unique to them being dutiful. Family ties and friendship was stressed. What I liked was the theme of forgiveness and second chances that different animals had. It's nice to show kids that people make mistakes and sometimes deserve a ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
The editor that spoke about this book actually started to cry when she said that Tor Seidler had been a close friend of Jean Craighead George. This is a wonderful book and I wish I could include it on my list for 3rd graders, but in this area the animal behavior is just a little too realistic for that age, so I am suggesting it for upper elementary school.
Aura Nizharu

The ending was somewhast nostalgic, it's end and thats all, without a true resolution or a definitive ending, it's simply end.
I miss that, A story that was only a certain period, a certain event and then when that end, the story ends.
Pure nostalgia, but the story is very irregular, and it's goes up and down very easily.

Not a bad read in the end.
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
An absorbing, rich tale of the wild exploring themes of self-acceptance, devotion, and integrity. A good book for discussing subjects of prejudice and stereotypes with readers.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE!! It was probably one of the best books I've ever read. I just cannot express how much I loved it... Wow ...more
Just Monika
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing



Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot of wolf books, good, bad, awful, plain, and just forgettable. Where does Firstborn rank on this? You ever binge on things until you never want to read or watch another thing involving it again? That was me as a teen, I consumed wolf books and found disappointments galore. I grew weary, learned to predict every plot, grew cynical.

This is not a wolf book at heart, it's a tale about wolves told by our POV magpie and it's amazing. Not only are there birds, but so much more. It's a lov
Melissa Mcavoy
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 6th, fiction, 5th, 4th, animals, fantasy
Maggie the Magpie is dismayed to learn how silly most her family are - Maggie is the best they could do? - so she strikes up friendships with other animals: first a crow, then an alpha wolf. Attached to a pack, she has a front-row seat to the pack's adventures: bringing down buffalo, raising a litter, avoiding capture and learning that you must first be loyal to your own nature before you can be loyal to others.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
My kids loved this book but it felt really flat to me. I wasn't moved by any of the characters or the storyline itself. Maybe it was the reader of the audio book version we listened to? I didn't enjoy her characterizations (very Valley girl-ish) and always felt like her take on the book didn't really match the author's intended tone. I wouldn't listen to/read this one again. ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not expecting this book to be from the point of view of a magpie. But it worked out really, really well; it wouldn't be the same story from any other perspective. I enjoyed reading this very much; it's easy to read and really draws you in. ...more
Jan 08, 2021 added it
This book is wonderful, its full of excitement, tragedy, and triumph. Although i don’ think it would interest anyone over the age 20, i myself have read it at least 6 times. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is a book about a Magpie living with a group of wolves.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
A student informed it was the best book in the world and gave me her copy back in August... finally forced myself to read it so I could give it back. I dislike nature. And wolves. It was weird.
Princess Ozera
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Beautifully put together with just the right amount of heart warming moments.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Maggie the Magpie leaves home because she wants to know what is out there... well first, she leaves home because of a guy, how typical... but then leaves to travel the world. She meets Blue, a wolf, who warms up to her companionship and together they search for a new home. FYI, there is a lot of bleeping tragedy. You would think this had Shakespeare name on it somewhere or Martin sneaked in and did a rewrite.
Chu Chuan  Wu
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
☼Book her,   Danno☼
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review-copy
FIRSTBORN is a fabulous little book that I think would make a good read-aloud for home or classroom, in addition to it's being a good read for kids who can tackle text at the 5th Grade reading level. AR 5.3 with 7 points.

What makes this book so good are the characters, the extremely well written, easy flowing narrative, and the fact that there are some good underlying messages. FIRSTBORN is a book with levels of enjoyment.

The story is told to us by a Magpie named Maggie. She's a totally adorable
Trudy Zufelt
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance readers copy from the publisher to review on my blog, Boys to Books. Review is from my blog.

Life on the ranch becomes tedious for Maggie the magpie and she longs to spread her wings and see the world. When a fox just misses having her for dinner thanks to the intervention of a wolf, Maggie seizes her chance to fly away and leave her old life behind. She follows the big wolf named Blue Boy who is on his way to Canada to find his old pack.

During the journey, Maggie finds foo
Julie Williams
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was about a pack of wolves - Blue Boy and his first born Lamar as well as others in the pack and Maggie the Magpie who joined and helped the herd. The book is set around the time the wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone and in the story these wolves were some that had been captured and then escaped the area. Interwoven in the book were many details about pack life and how wolves interact and survive (or don't).

What I found odd -

For a book about wolves the narrator was the magpie.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Maggie the Magpie, the narrator of this story, is a restless bird. She's curious about the world and is able to learn much about it through her friend Jackson, a crow. After tragedy strikes, she finds another friend in Blue Boy, a wolf who is heading back to Canada after being transferred to Yellowstone. Along the way, she ends up throwing in with a wolf pack and discovers that a bird can be friends - if not family - with animals of the wingless variety. I enjoyed this book for a number of reaso ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book for Creative Kids Magazine.
Maggie is a magpie, who is ashamed of her uncreative name. Of all her siblings, she was the first to fly. Maggie doesn’t like the idea of having to care for eggs of her own, nor does she enjoy being called an “empty-headed chatterbox”, as most birds believe magpies are. But when a wolf arrives in the area, her life takes an unexpected new turn.
Firstborn was an exciting, page-turning tale, set in Yellowstone Park. Discover what happens whe
Lori Taylor
Jul 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to love the book. Truly! The animal names as human names irked me. But I ignored that. I liked how the life of wolves and their vital contribution to the ecosystem was woven into the story without taking sides. Cool. Homework done. But when I came to the mention of a hedgehog I freaked out. Whoa. What continent are we on. Does Tor mean porcupine? Ding. Fail. :) Somebody, editors included, missed that important bit of natural history. Is it a big deal? May happen not, but kids get clear ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: j-fiction
I have always been a fan of ficton with wolves as main characters. However, I didn't enjoy this story as much as others I have read. The narrator was a magpie, so was removed from the pack culture to a degree, and I found the sections dealing with her backstory to be boring. Even though the wolves were main characters, I felt that they weren't well developed. The highlight for me was recognizing place names from WolfQuest. ...more
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Firstborn is a delightful middle grade book, touching and suspenseful. While adults may not be as appreciative of a story primarily about wolves in Yellowstone told from the perspective of their magpie friend, I predict young readers will be as captivated as I was. I especially appreciated the accurate details about recent changes to the Yellowstone ecosystem brought about by the reintroduction of wolves, and the descriptive details specific to one of the nation's greatest parks. ...more
Narrated by Jenni Barber. Readers may pick up a few things about life as a wolf but it's no Jean Craighead George. Best for those who may find JCG boring for their tastes and who like stories where animals are portrayed as talking and thinking characters. I found some of the animals' knowledge of the human world a bit of a stretch: how would Maggie the magpie know about GPS trackers in the wolves' collars? More of a 2.5 star rating. ...more
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Normally, I don't add children's books to my
List because they are for work or read for my daughter, not by choice. This one I read for fun and I really enjoyed it. The choice of narrator was very clever and each character is well developed. It feels complete as a book, as a story, but not in a simple kid-like way. I can picture this becoming a movie.
Tj Shay
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great book filled with life and death. Narrated by a very wise bird, this is the story of a pack of wolves.

I read that author, Tor Seidler learned about the wolves placed in Yellowstone from Jean Craighead George, which probably explains the realism of the story.

Beautifully written, great story. My friend Holly was so right, I loved it.
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