A Wolf Called Wander - book cover
  • Publisher : Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition
  • Published : 05 Jan 2021
  • Pages : 256
  • ISBN-10 : 006289594X
  • ISBN-13 : 9780062895943
  • Language : English

A Wolf Called Wander

A New York Times bestseller! "Don't miss this dazzling tour de force."-Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal winning author of The One and Only Ivan

This gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf's incredible journey to find a safe place to call home. Illustrated throughout, this irresistible tale by award-winning author Rosanne Parry is for fans of Sara Pennypacker's Pax and Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan.

Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter.

Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a wolf named OR-7 (or Journey), this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth. This gripping and appealing novel about family, courage, loyalty, and the natural world is for fans of Fred Gipson's Old Yeller and Katherine Applegate's Endling.

Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout and a map as well as information about the real wolf who inspired the novel.

Plus don't miss Rosanne Parry's stand-alone companion novel, A Whale of the Wild.

Editorial Reviews

"Riveting and lyrical, A WOLF CALLED WANDER is a vibrantly imagined celebration of the natural world. Don't miss this dazzling tour de force." -- -Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

"Inspired by the story of OR-7, a real wolf naturalists tracked in the wild, Parry perfectly conveys her character's curious, alert, and social nature.. . .a page-turning narrative. . . .deserving of a place alongside Sheila Burnford's The Incredible Journey, Jack London's White Fang, and other classic animal adventure novels."
-- School Library Journal (starred review)

"Rife with details of the myriad scents, sounds, tastes, touches, and sights in Swift/Wander's primal existence, the immediacy of his intimate, first-person, present-tense narration proves deeply moving. . . .A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Wander's first-person narration...lends a unique perspective and immediacy to the story. . .Armiño's realistic black-and-white illustrations fill in gaps, making this memorable adventure a beautiful one as well." -- ALA Booklist

"Parry doesn't pull any punches in her portrayal of the brutal reality of the natural world. . .Readers who liked the Hunters series for the gritty authenticity of its natural world will feel right at home." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Parry offers a wolf's-eye view of the Pacific Northwest's forests, mountains, and prairies in this harrowing survival tale based on the story of OR-7, a wolf electronically tracked by scientists. . . .An action-packed novel perfect for reluctant readers as well as animal lovers." -- Publishers Weekly

"Inspired by a true story, Rosanne Parry evokes the Pacific Northwest with lilting, sensory-driven ambient details. . . . Parry's choice to have Swift narrate his own perilous journey brings an on-the-ground intimacy to the story. . . . Parry has written about being far from home before . . . it's a terrain she captures expertly." -- The New York Times Book Review

Readers Top Reviews

BjHMelanie J. Dulane
I'm an Oregonian familiar with the 1,000+ mile trek of "OR-7", the real wolf this story was based on, whose solo journey was reported as he wandered from northeastern Oregon, into northern California and back into Oregon, where he and his new pack/family currently live and are occasionally captured on trail cameras. I heard a radio interview with the author describing her research into wolves and her desire to capture the spirit of the animal in her narrative. She read an excerpt of the book and I was immediately drawn in. She purposely used language that does not overly anthropomorphize the character of the wolf, so you get the animal's perspective and the immediacy of his environment and interactions with other animals. It's lyrical and relatable, not forced or awkward the way some authors try to invent language for such purposes. The black and white illustrations add to the tale. The target audience for this book is ages 8-12 and I would have loved it at that age. I've read it's considered one of the top books of 2019 for this age group and has been compared to Jack London's "White Fang". This is a modern classic. I'm retired and couldn't put it down.
As a wolf person (I've never owned or met one in real life though), I knew I had to read this. I'd seen it advertised in a magazine and I later got it. It was a little dense and hard to follow but I enjoyed the detail and liked so much of the wolf interactions with the wild side of America. I finished it in just a few days and I might come back to it after I finish the other books on my to-do list. Good story.
I read this with my 9 year old daughter. From the first paragraph, we could not put it down. The illustrations are so extraordinary we would stop to study them. The story was remarkably educational and informative while still having a plot that kept us turning pages and rooting for the wolf. It brought us both to tears (poignant and satisfying — not Old Yeller sob your heart out) many times. I cannot remember the last time I was so pleasantly surprised and thoroughly Wowed.
The story itself is just over 200 pages; many of them include art that enhances the story. After the story are shorter sections about the real wolf on which the story is based and about the natural world of wolf habitat in the northwest US. I am much older than the age group this book targets, but I could not love it more. The story is so absorbing that kept finding myself reading too quickly; I had to slow myself down to savor the wonderful writing.
From my 9 year old daughter: I love it so much. I hope there is a sequel. It is so descriptive and you actually feel like you're the wolf! Both boys and girls would like - anyone would like it, adults too! I loved the illustrations, too.

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