Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the Wolves

4.0 153
by Jean Craighead George

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Faced with the prospect of a disagreeable arranged marriage or a journey across the barren Alaskan tundra, 13-year-old Miyax chooses the tundra. She finds herself caught between the traditional Eskimo ways and the modern ways of the whites. Miyax, or Julie as her pen pal Amy calls her, sets out alone to visit Amy in San Francisco, a world far away from Eskimo culture…  See more details below


Faced with the prospect of a disagreeable arranged marriage or a journey across the barren Alaskan tundra, 13-year-old Miyax chooses the tundra. She finds herself caught between the traditional Eskimo ways and the modern ways of the whites. Miyax, or Julie as her pen pal Amy calls her, sets out alone to visit Amy in San Francisco, a world far away from Eskimo culture and the frozen land of Alaska. During her long and arduous journey, Miyax comes to appreciate the value of her Eskimo heritage, learns about herself, and wins the friendship of a pack of wolves. After learning the language of the wolves and slowly earning their trust, Julie becomes a member of the pack. Since its first publication, Julie of the Wolves, winner of the 1973 Newbery Medal, has found its way into the hearts of millions of readers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This Newbery Award Book winner is the story of a young Eskimo who runs away from an arranged marriage and survives on the tundra through the nurturing of a wolf pack for many months. The book ends with Julie's return to her father and home. When the author was a nature writer for Reader's Digest, she went to Alaska to do a story on wolves, then a burgeoning new field of study. "I was fascinated and even communicated with one of the reluctant female wolves. What an experience!" It was also on that trip that she met Julia Sebevan, the woman on whom she modeled Julie, who told her much about the old ways of the Eskimos. It was George's first-hand experiences with the wolves and her admiration of the elder society that became the foundation for the book.
“Protected by a wolf pack while lost on the tundra, a 13-year-old Eskimo girl begins to appreciate her heritage and the oneness with nature that modern man is destroying. This 1973 Newbery Medal-winning book is compelling. . . . A thrilling adventure story.”
The Horn Book
“The whole book has a rare, intense reality which the artist enhances beautifully with animated drawings.”
ALA Booklist
“The evocatively written, empathetic story effectively evokes the nature of wolves and dramatizes how the traditional Eskimo way of life is giving way before the relentless onlaught of civilization.”
Boston Globe
“It is a book anyone who loves the outdoors will find hard to forget.”
New York Times
“[Jean Craighead George’s] novel is packed with expert wolf lore, its narrative beautifully conveying the sweeping vastness of tundra as well as many other aspects of the Arctic, ancient and modern, animal and human. It is refreshing to see the Arctic well portrayed through a woman’s eyes.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Julie of the Wolves Series
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.52(d)
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Julie of the Wolves

By Jean Craighead George

Thomas T. Beeler Publisher

Copyright © 2004 Jean Craighead George
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1581181213


Chapter One

Miyax pushed back the hood of her sealskin parka and looked at the Arctic sun. It was a yellow disc in a lime-green sky, the colors of six o'clock in the evening and the time when the wolves awoke. Quietly she put down her cooking pot and crept to the top of a dome-shaped frost heave, one of the many earth buckles that rise and fall in the crackling cold of the Arctic winter. Lying on her stomach, she looked across a vast lawn of grass and moss and focused her attention on the wolves she had come upon two sleeps ago. They were wagging their tails as they awoke and saw each other.

Her hands trembled and her heartbeat quickened, for she was frightened, not so much of the wolves, who were shy and many harpoon-shots away, but because of her desperate predicament. Miyax was lost. She had been lost without food for many sleeps on the North Slope of Alaska. The barren slope stretches for two hundred miles from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean, and for more than eight hundred miles from Canada to the Chukchi Sea. No roads cross it; ponds and lakes freckle its immensity. Winds scream across it, and the view in every direction is exactly the same. Somewhere in this cosmos was Miyax; and the very life in her body, its sparkand warmth, depended upon these wolves for survival. And she was not so sure they would help.

Miyax stared hard at the regal black wolf, hoping to catch his eye. She must somehow tell him that she was starving and ask him for food. This could be done she knew, for her father, an Eskimo hunter, had done so. One year he had camped near a wolf den while on a hunt. When a month had passed and her father had seen no game, he told the leader of the wolves that he was hungry and needed food. The next night the wolf called him from far away and her father went to him and found a freshly killed caribou. Unfortunately, Miyax's father never explained to her how he had told the wolf of his needs. And not long afterward he paddled his kayak into the Bering Sea to hunt for seal, and he never returned.

She had been watching the wolves for two days, trying to discern which of their sounds and move ments expressed goodwill and friendship. Most animals had such signals. The little Arctic ground squirrels flicked their tails sideways to notify others of their kind that they were friendly. By imitating this signal with her forefinger, Miyax had lured many a squirrel to her hand. If she could discover such a gesture for the wolves she would be able to make friends with them and share their food, like a bird or a fox.

Propped on her elbows with her chin in her fists, she stared at the black wolf, trying to catch his eye. She had chosen him because he was much larger than the others, and because he walked like her father, Kapugen, with his head high and his chest out. The black wolf also possessed wisdom, she had observed. The pack looked to him when the wind carried strange scents or the birds cried nervously. If he was alarmed, they were alarmed. If he was calm, they were calm.

Long minutes passed, and the black wolf did not look at her. He had ignored her since she first came upon them, two sleeps ago. True, she moved slowly and quietly, so as not to alarm him; yet she did wish he would see the kindness in her eyes. Many animals could tell the difference between hostile hunters and friendly people by merely looking at them. But the big black wolf would not even glance her way.

A bird stretched in the grass. The wolf looked at it. A flower twisted in the wind. He glanced at that. Then the breeze rippled the wolverine ruff on Miyax's parka and it glistened in the light. He did not look at that. She waited. Patience with the ways of nature had been instilled in her by her father. And so she knew better than to move or shout. Yet she must get food or die. Her hands shook slightly and she swallowed hard to keep calm.

Miyax was a classic Eskimo beauty, small of bone and delicately wired with strong muscles. Her face was pearl-round and her nose was flat. Her black eyes, which slanted gracefully, were moist and sparkling. Like the beautifully formed polar bears and foxes of the north, she was slightly short-limbed. The frigid environment of the Arctic has sculptured life into compact shapes. Unlike the long-limbed, long-bodied animals of the south that are cooled by dispensing heat on extended surfaces, all live things in the Arctic tend toward compactness, to conserve heat.

The length of her limbs and the beauty of her face were of no use to Miyax as she lay on the lichenspeckled frost heave in the midst of the bleak tundra. Her stomach ached and the royal black wolf was carefully ignoring her.

"Amaroq, ilaya, wolf, my friend," she finally called. "Look at me. Look at me."

She spoke half in Eskimo and half in English, as if the instincts of her father and the science of the gussaks, the white-faced, might evoke some magical combination that would help her get her message through to the wolf.

Amaroq glanced at his paw and slowly turned his head her way without lifting his eyes. He licked his shoulder. A few matted hairs sprang apart and twinkled individually. Then his eyes sped to each of the three adult wolves that made up his pack and finally to the five pups who were sleeping in a fuzzy mass near the den entrance. The great wolf's eyes softened at the sight of the little wolves, then quickly hardened into brittle yellow jewels as he scanned the flat tundra.


Excerpted from Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George Copyright © 2004 by Jean Craighead George. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Julie of the Wolves 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 153 reviews.
DoggyBlade More than 1 year ago
I read this book in fifth grade and honestly this is what encouraged me to be an author; it's realistic yet so breath-takingly mystical. It's instantly a classic and all ages should read this over and over again. Anyone who loves adventure and 'coming of age' books will absolutely adore this book.
ColleenHellenYost More than 1 year ago
Julie, a girl my age in an unwanted marraige. Wow,I couldn't dream of being married! She runs away from that experience, hoping to find her penpal in San Francisco. After the first few days of traveling she finds herself lost, hungry,and cold. Detirmined for survial she is helped out by a pack of wolves who let her into thier pack. Throughout the story she grows a loving bond with her new family. But when hunters come along in their helicopters she finds her world tumbleing down. It made me cry! Hunting wolves could be illegal today if people would realize that wolves are intelligent and endangered animals.There are so few left in the world. They deserve to live thier lives in peace. This story really opened my eyes to the problems of today.I recomend this to eveyone. It's very important for us to learn about wolves before it's to late. ~ ColleenHellenYost
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book makes you think. Changes your mind about how wolfs are and how we kill for fun, wolfs kill for survival. Also it gives you different perspective on a simple life, being at one with nature. I recomend this book to anyone with a open mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best Newbery Medal winning book I have read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. It gives people a different perspective on wolves they don't kill for fun but for there survival. Also they don't kill alot only what they need but not healthy animals sick or old ones. Awsome book have to reed it.
SandraPants More than 1 year ago
I love this book from my childhood. The writing is beautifully descriptive and the elements of danger and survival make for a gripping read. Through this book the reader is able to be transported to faraway lands deep in the Arctic where the wind can be cruel and the wilderness can be unforgiving. I love reading this during the hot summer weeks and I can almost feel the snow and ice as I read. I would recommend this book to any fans of adventure, survival, animal-bonding stories and stories of personal growth or coming-of-age. <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The rape scene is completely inappropriate in children's book. For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone can possibly feel it is OK for a child to read a description of such a terrifying and graphic sexual assault. I would give this zero stars if I could. 
obsessive_compulsive More than 1 year ago
I read this when I was in elementary school, and I could not put it down. This was one of my favorite series growing up. The story centers around a strong, female protagonist who is still barely a child. The emotional and physical hardships that she endures would have even some adults on their knees in despair. She not only has to survive in a harsh physical world, she has to survive and maneuver through the dualities of both her native culture and norms, and that of her American culture. I highly recommend this to young readers as it will give them an insight not only about nature, but about people and what it means to "grow up."
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a section of the book is a description of the main character's rape by her husband. This is definately not a book that children need to read. My 5th grader was given the book and the class was told not to read page such and such and of course they all did. I had to explain to her what rape was. There are too many other good books for children to read. Take a stand and help your school ban this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
My fourth grade daughter read this book and the children in her class had certain pages marked to share with other students. There are too many good books to allow our youth to read content of this nature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read, and I have read a lot, since I am in the highly gifted center. BUY IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend Sierra and i read this book in fifth grade. We never got to finish it though. WE FINALLY FOUND IT! THANK YOU BARNES AND NOBLE! KEEP ON YOUR GOOD WORK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book, a 13 year old girl ends up in the alasken wilderness and must learn how to survive. Somehow,she must make it to Sanfransisco,where her penpal lives, but how? On her way, she lives and learns from a wolf pack, who teach her a most valuable lessen she will never forget. There are also two seaquels,which are not on the nook,Julie and Julie's wolf pack.They may be in the library,but own them in paperback. Well... ENJOY THE BOOK!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where's the sequel to this I need it now this isn't funny any more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i dont like this book fo it contains rape and it is not for children i highly disliked it i had to explain to my child what it ment very unexpected to be given to children of this age! waste of time, waste of money
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am in 5th grade and have to read this book for my literature circle in school. It puts me to sleep every time I read it. Daniel's character is really weird because he is only thirteen and he is married. I don't like the setting in the Alaskan tundra. The character of Miyax is also weird, for the same reason that Daniel's character is weird. Who cares about the wolves? I would DEFINITELY not recommend this ever in a billion years because I think it is dull, boring, and stupid. It is a total waste of time and energy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Julie of the wolves This book is called Julie of the wolves. Jean Craighead George wrote it. The book is an Eskimo named Miyax who ran away from her home because of her vulgar husband. She is thirteen and brought basic supplies to support herself limiting for her journey in Alaska towards San Francisco to the home of her pen pall and live with her to lead a better life. Eventually she has to find food and does not know how to hunt. She is eventually befriended by a wolf book and its leader that decides to make her part of their pack. I disliked this book because it was unethical and it wasn¿t my type of genre. The book wasn¿t exciting to read because u could expect what was going to happen next. You kind of had question the way the book was presented because in most books you were able to feel like you were in the book. The plot really didn¿t interest me because it just seemed like a drag to read it. The only thing that was different about the author was that I haven¿t seen many books about Eskimos and wolves so it¿s a unique plot but that¿s about it. The characters were not realistic because normally a wolf wouldn¿t let an outsider into their pack especially one of a different species. The ending was expected and typical ending which was one of the reasons I didn¿t like it. The author used a third person writing style, I prefer a 1st person because it makes you feel more like your in the book with every detail in the perspective of the main character. The author does use the vocabulary in an interesting way because a lot of it is of the Eskimo. The author was very typical and proper in this book which some people like but you have to read for yourself if you like those kinds of books. The author¿s ability was interesting but flawed because the author didn¿t describe the right things to feel like you¿re in the book. Their wasn¿t really anything to do improve the plot of this story but it is more of a young adult book. I would have to give this book one star because this book was unethical and likely because one it isn¿t likely that a little girl would go hundreds of miles to live with someone and then suddenly finds wolves that having their doubts except someone that wasn¿t of their family or species let her into the pack. I don¿t recommend this book to older readers but to younger ones who like a short book to read. The author I¿m sure that had a couple more descent books than this one. I don¿t remember the books off the top of my head but I believe they are young adult. If you read this book I hope you enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was kinda hard to get in to butt then it got really interesting to read so i loved it highly recomend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in 6th grade and love reading.I am homeschooled too. And i am very picky when it comes to books. Usally i will read the back of a book and if it isn't interesting i don' t read it and i did it with this book but instead of me not liking it i LOVED IT! It was one of the best books i ever read. I hope however reads it likes it as much as i do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would give this book a higher rating if I could, very lovely. Written for those who love books.