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The Wolves Are Back
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The Wolves Are Back

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  273 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Two renowned children’s book creators teamed up to make this stirring picture book that tells the story of how, over a century, wolves were persecuted in the United States and nearly became extinct. Gradually reintroduced, they are thriving again in the West, much to the benefit of the ecosystem. This book will teach a new generation to appreciate the grace, dignity, and v ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Lisa Vegan
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: for teaching about ecology; for kids interested in wolves
I adore wolves. Ever since I read Never Cry Wolf in the summer of 1976, a book I still own, a book given to me by a friend when I was in a rough patch, I have been enthralled by this species, and I’ve adored domestic dogs my entire life.

So, I despise fairy tales where wolves are the villains (even though I know the very real circumstances from which that theme emerged) and I’m delighted to read books the positive sides of wolves. I think it’s appalling the massive hunting that was done that bro
The illustrations in this book are incredible. It's like looking at a beautiful painting on each page. Wonderful story about wolves and what happened to the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park when the wolves were all gone due to hunters. Explains how the wilderness became unbalanced. When wolves were once again reintroduced to Yellowstone, they flourished and grew and so did the grass, and the flowers and the animals around them. Many beautiful wild animals are featured including birds, bea ...more
Kathy Roderer
Nov 14, 2009 rated it liked it
This lovely picture storyybook version of the true story of the return of the wolves to Yellowstone Park is told from the perspective of a wolf pup. Each page tells a part of the story on a two-page painting of the natural landscape of Yellowstone. Each page also ends with a refrain: either "The wolves were gone." or "The wolves were back." This book could be enjoyed by all ages, but would be especially helpful in demonstrating to a younger child the value of interdependence among animals for na ...more
Carol Evans
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully illustrated book and does a great job of showing that all of nature is part of the balance, not just the "pretty" animals. My daughter loves wolves and enjoyed this book as well.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: humane-education
3.5 stars -- Wolves are a keystone species, meaning their presence or absence effects a large swath of the ecosystem. Young readers are shown a wide variety of species of plant and animal (the transitions are more than a bit clunky) and are informed about how these species were helped by the return of wolves to Yellowstone.

While I am happy that the ecosystem of Yellowstone has bounced back to a more natural state thanks to the wolves, I am now of the opinion that capturing wolves in Canada and s
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super cute book that teaches children the importance of natures ecosystem and the effects humans can have on it.
Kathy Iwanicki
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Mary Ann
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Jean Craighead George and Wendell Minor have captured the remarkable story of wolves being reintroduced to Yellowstone. Wolves were almost hunted into extinction by the early 1900s, but in 1995 a small number of wolves were brought from Canada to Yellowstone.

As the wolf packs grow, the entire ecosystem starts to returns to its natural balance. In one example, the young wolf pup can now hear birds singing in the meadows because the wolfs are back. George explains the relationships quite simply. T
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good children's book about the changes in the ecosystem of Yellowstone since the wolves were reintroduced.
The presence of wolves has also coincided with a dramatic rise in the park's beaver population; where there was just one beaver colony in Yellowstone in 2001, there were nine beaver colonies in the park by 2011. The presence of wolves seems to have encouraged elk to browse more widely, diminishing their pressure on stands of willow, a plant that beave
Marissa Reyes
The book The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George does a great job explaining the essence of what extinction is and how detrimental it is to the cycle of life in the wild. The illustrations by Wendell Minor were absolutely amazing,rich with color and intricate detail. The pictures depicted the sights of the wild frozen in time so children who have not yet witnessed the wild can experience it for the first time. When children hear the word wolf the instant reaction is that wolves are bad and ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Only someone so skilled in writing like Jean Craighead George can take a potentially didactic topic and turn it into a lyrical and moving text that drives home the notion of a balanced natural environment: with predators and preys co-existing. The refrain of The wolves are back becomes the echoes of the wolves' howls through the valleys in my mind. Very powerful! The illustrations re-enforce the text, although might be a tad idealized and quite "clean" and the wolves, especially the pups, are ve ...more
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My niece, nephew, and I all really enjoyed The Wolves are Back! My nephew was excited by all the pictures of the wolves, and my niece became very interested in how the wolves' return to the ecosystem at Yellowstone helped to restore the balance of nature.

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous. Both kids remarked on the beauty of the illustrations, and with the turn of numerous pages I got a breathless "wow," from one or the other of them.

The prose in this book is concise enough to hold on t
Jessica Sommers
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
This is a beautiful book about wolves that teaches children about how they used to be treated and what would happen if things did not change. The book goes on to explain that wolves at one point almost became extinct. This book goes on to teach the importance of caring for endangered species.

Overall this was a really good book! My favorite aspect of it was the lesson it is able to teach to children about endangered species and how important it is to do what we can as a community to help them.

Jennifer Heise
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This lovely illustrated picturebook, with a softly melodic text, celebrates the return of the wolves to Yellowstone, and the changes to the local ecology wrought by the return of these large predators to the ecosystem. Who could have imagined that the wolves' control of certain areas would lead to the encouragement of additional ecological diversity there?
But really, the sing-song 'the wolves are back' refrain is the appeal, despite the natural science. Also the pictures (no graphic violence) ar
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
So much said in such a lovely picture book for children. I must admit, though, that I learned a great deal too reading this as an adult. It is a great lesson of the ecosystem, food chain and circle of life...everything truly is connected to each other. These lessons are taught in this book about wolves and their near extinction due to man's decision to keep only the peaceful and perceived docile wildlife in the Yellowstone National Park.

Beautifully written and the illustrations are great!
May 04, 2008 marked it as to-read
I lived in Jackson Hole, WY when the debate over wolf reintroduction began. People talked of little else; you were either for the wolf or against. There was a clear divide. I was for the reintroduction and was relieved when not only did they come back, but came back strong. Recently wolves were taken off the endangered species list, and they're already being hunted. I feel sadness at our lack of understanding. We could learn many lessons from wolves. I look forward to reading this book.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book is a good educational book for talking to children and students about animals and a good start for teaching students about endangered and extinct animals. This story talks about wolves and how they were hunted in the United States to the brink of extinction. They are gradually reintroduced to the environment and are now in a less drastic state. I love the art work for this book, the painted images look great.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was an exceptional book about an environmentally corrective move made to bring back wolves to Yellowstone National Park. I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and the illustrations are outstanding. It explains what happened in a way that readers can easily comprehend. The entire book was outstanding.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A beautifully illustrated book that celebrates the return of the wolves to Yellowstone. It also very gently imparts all of the ecological reasons that the return of the wolves is a good thing - without being heavy handed. You get a very real sense of the beauty of Yellowstone and of the cycle of life and the role predators play in that cycle.
A great story that teaches environmentalism and outlines the importance of the food chain. It centers around the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone park. It shows how everything from the flowers to the beavers to the Bison were put back in balance once the wolves came back to Yellowstone.

The illustrations do a great job of capturing the beauty of nature.
This is another beautifully illustrated story about wolves and their importance to wilderness. This is a great book when teaching wolves or any animals that contribute to their environment. So many other animals were able to thrive once the wolves were back in the woods. This could be used in social studies lessons that talk about how the environment is meant for certain species or not.
Jordan Williams
This would be a great book for science class, possibly a read aloud. Its a picture book about wolves nearly becoming extinct. We learn they are making more and more appearances and their importance in the ecosystem. When learning the ecosystem in class, this may be a fun brain break. You could even introduce the lesson with this book.
Melissa Dwyer
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally rated G+ by Judy Ermlick
An ardent naturalist, Jean Craighead George has personified the plight of wolves in this country making us care about the wolf pup, the elk and the sparrows. Readers then understand the importance of each animal in the ecosystem. This is well-illustrated with paintings of the Lamar Valley-- a good science, ecology, and story book.
Aileen Stewart
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Wolves are back was a delightful read about the reintroduction of the wolves into Yellowstone National Park after they had been obliterated from the lower 48 states years before. The beautiful illustrations add to the story and help show the balance of nature being restored once the wolves were returned to their rightful place.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tender story about how the wolves had left Yellowstone National Park and then made a slow return. Fiction mixed with truth to tell the story about the importance of keeping nature balanced with all the creatures that were intended to be there.

Grades: 2-5
Topic: wolves, Yellowstone, habitat, life cycle
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars-love-it
This is a great book. The artwork is great and the message it clear and not to be cheesy but beautiful. The wolves were a clear part of the eco system and by taking them out, things changed. By bringing them back other animals came back too. Great and simple for 3-5 graders. It could be used for non-fiction resource about the wolves in Yellowstone or just as a nice story.
Sandy Brehl
This is the first in a series about recovering native species, and works well in tandem with the related titles (The Buffalo Are Back, The Eagles Are Back) and also her earlier, lyrical picture book, Look To The North.
This Wolf offering and the Buffalo offering reveal that the elimination and near extinction of these species were premeditated and intentional, for supposedly rational reasons.
Carissa Worm
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely amazing!!! It is all about the wolves of Yellowstone, and how because they were taken out of the ecosystem, everything was completely changed. It is a great book to teach the concept of habitats and environment as well as food chains. This is true even that many people are probably are not aware of, and every child will benefit from reading it!
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
shows how wildlife balance was restored when wolves returned to Yellowstone; non-fiction but sort of a story from point of view of a wolf cub; pretty illustrations; 7yo daughter who loves wolves/huskies loved this book
The oh-so-scary wolves were killed off so people could enjoy the sweet, "nice" animals in Yellowstone Park. But the loss of the wolves made for negative ripples throughout the park ecosystem. With the reintroduction of the wolves, the ecosystem is slowly righting itself.
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Jean Craighead George wrote over eighty popular books for young adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and the Newbery Honor book My Side of the Mountain. Most of her books deal with topics related to the environment and the natural world. While she mostly wrote children's fiction, she also wrote at least two guides to cooking with wild foods, and an autobiography, Journey ...more
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