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Dogwolf
     

Dogwolf

by Alden R. Carter
 

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From the award-winning author of Dancing on Dark Water comes the powerful stroy of Pete LaSavage, a boy who is part Chippewa, part Metis, and part Norwegian--and can barely contain his frustration and confusion about his mixed-race heritage. Young Adult.

Overview

From the award-winning author of Dancing on Dark Water comes the powerful stroy of Pete LaSavage, a boy who is part Chippewa, part Metis, and part Norwegian--and can barely contain his frustration and confusion about his mixed-race heritage. Young Adult.

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Hazel K. Davis
Dogwolf is a well-crafted, compelling initiation story about Pete, a young Swedish/French/Chippewa boy, who, at fifteen, is trying to decide just who and what he is. Pete spends part of his time in a fire tower watching for new fires as upper Wisconsin is enduring a long drought and severe forest fires. When Pete releases a penned-up dogwolf, he sets into motion a series of events that culminate in the death of his best friend and a brush with death for himself as he hunts down and kills the dogwolf. This is a real page-turner with chapters so long I found it hard to find a place to pause even at 12:30 a.m. Some readers may be offended by the numerous curse words or by the incidental sex scenes, but this is a book I know my students would enjoy, and I'm sure readers age 12 and up will too.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 9-12-In a summer when everyone is on edge because of threatening forest fires, Pete LaSavage, 15, feels the tension even more. The lingering fires stir up memories of his father who went into those same northern Wisconsin woods to die after being crippled in a logging accident. Pete struggles with questions about his identity, and his mixed Chippewa, Metis, and Swedish heritage. He feels uncomfortable in both the Indian and white worlds. His friend Jim seems as uncomfortable as Pete is with his Indian background, and both engage in self-denigrating comments about themselves and tribal life. Even sex with his ex-girlfriend is unsatisfactory. Despite his sarcasm, however, Jim seems to believe in the possibility of visions and mysticism, especially when danger arises after a neighbor's mongrel wolf/dog is set loose by Pete, who finds the animal's howls both annoying and somehow taunting. Strong on images and emotions, this is a haunting book with some unanswered questions. From his shift in the lookout tower, Pete conveys the landscape, the unpredictability of fire, and the courage of the people who fight it, and reflects on the intensity of the dissatisfaction burning within him. But it is difficult at times to follow the threads that hold those scenes to the other elements of the story. The death of the neighbor, shocking and graphic, is unexplained other than to serve as a reminder of Pete's own father's death. Jim's death when confronting the dogwolf leads to Pete's ultimate confrontation with the animal, but it holds no satisfying resolution other than the demise of a creature that should never have been released. Complex and very slow moving.-Susan Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library, WI
Frances Bradburn
The smoke, dryness, and heat of a summer of western forest fires provide the backdrop for this intense novel about a young man's search for his past and his future, which depends on his getting a handle on his present. Pete LaSavage spends many of his days scanning the countryside for new blazes and his evenings listening to the haunted howls of the neighbor's dog, an animal allegedly part dog, part wolf. A combination of Chippewa, Metis, and Swede, Pete longs to find out who he really is. Is he part of the Native American society he moves within so freely, or is he white like those few ancestors who have given him the distinctive good looks that allow him to meld with the majority? Is his genetic mixture as potentially volatile as the dog-wolf's? Carter has crafted a novel of incessant foreboding. The fires are omnipresent; the dog-wolf's attack imminent. Although this is an excellent book, it doesn't quite work because the resolution is so slow in coming that we don't know enough about the dog-wolf to make the violent ending believable; the "big one," the devastating fire awaited throughout the entire book, is fought in only 13 pages. Yet Carter's skill in developing characters is evident. Pete is a credible package of frustration and longing, with an undercurrent of anger: a really good kid trying to find himself. And his paternal grandfather, an elderly Metis who appears out of nowhere, is the kind of wise father figure all teens crave.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780590467421
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/01/1996
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
4.17(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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