Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Keeping the focus on the wolves introduced in her Newbery-winning Julie of the Wolves, George writes "with astounding intimacy" and "complete command" of the animal world, said PW in a starred review. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
VOYA - Susan Dunn
A warning: this book is not very much like the first two in the Julie series. If readers are expecting a similar story, they will be disappointed. Julie is in this book, but as a minor character. This is more a study and narrative of the lives of the Avalik pack of wolves that saved her life and then adopted her and became her second family. Kapu, son of Amaroq and Silver, became the leader of the Avalik pack after his father's death. However, Kapu is young and inexperienced, and it normally takes many years-years he does not have-for a pack leader to develop. Kapu struggles to maintain his authority over his rival, Raw Bones, and to protect his pack from an outsider who carries the rabies virus. This book provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of arctic wolves. George obviously knows her stuff. Those readers who are patient enough to stick with the book will come away having gained a new knowledge of wolves and greater respect for the difficulties and small tragedies of the natural cycle of life. However, it will take a dedicated reader to start and finish a book that has so little human interaction or characters, especially fans who want to read more about Julie. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
In Julie of the Wolves and its sequel Julie, George introduced readers to the fascinating life of Julie and her interaction with a pack of wolves on the Arctic tundra and in northern Alaska. In this fabulous continuation of the story, the story is no longer from Julie's perspective but rather from the wolves' point of view. Through the minds of the different members of the Julie's wolf pack, the story of their fight for survival unfurls. The young leader Kapu struggles to keep his position from internal opposition within the pack. The entire pack faces a strange illness along with a food shortage that endangers their lives along with the lives of their new pups. Following several years in the lives of these wolves is engaging reading. Julie, the protagonist in the other novels, appears as a strong human presence throughout the book, and helps the wolves whenever she can while going forward with her own plans for the future which may separate her from her beloved wolves.
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
If your kids loved the Newbery-winning "Julie of the Wolves" and its sequel, "Julie," they'll no doubt love "Julie's Wolf Pack." You'll love it, too, if anthropomorphism is your bag. If not, not. The story is told almost entirely from the point of view of the wolves - an exciting, crowded tale that's a veritable soap opera of intrigue, romance and some literal backbiting. George manages to pull this off without a whiff of adorableness. Possibly it's because she has studied wolf behavior for 25 years, and obviously respects the animals' wilder tendencies as much as she does their more "human" traits of caring for the young, helping the sick and mating for life. Come to think of it, the wolves could teach some of us a thing or two.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Drawing upon her knowledge of wolf behavior, Eskimo culture, and Alaska, George continues the story of Kapu, the splendid male pup Julie nursed back to life in Julie of the Wolves (HarperCollins, 1972). This third adventure chronicles six years in the life of Kapu and his pack family. The animals are convincingly depicted with such respect and affection that readers will feel as though they too are in the wild rooting for the pack in times of famine, admiring Sweet Fur Amy whose unusual leadership abilities enable her to become an Alpha female, and feeling anger when Kapu is captured for research. The book is divided into three parts that suit the episodic plotting style; the strongest segment occurs in the middle when a lone female infected with rabies joins the pack, threatening the lives of its members. The writing is laden with natural descriptions and keen observations, some of which interrupt the story's flow, but this rich detail is also the book's strength. The perspective of the wolves is effectively maintained, but their encounters with hunters, veterinarians, and government researchers provide a framework for the different factions that must learn to coexist if this resilient yet fragile species is to survive. Those who have enjoyed Julie's story thus far will want to read this latest encounter in which she grows up, attends college, and comes full circle back to the tundra, this time to study her beloved wolves with her new husband, Peter Sugluk.Caroline Ward, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
Completing the switch in narrative view begun in Julie (1994), the sequel to Julie of the Wolves (1972), George continues her tale of the Avalik River pack entirely from the standpoint of its members: Kapu, the young new alpha; his daughter and successor, Sweet Fur Amy; Ice Blink, a lone wolf who carries rabiesand Willow Pup Julie, who lives in town but puts in appearances to inspect new pups or perform rescues. George invests all of her characters equally with expressive language, customary patterns of behavior, distinct personalities, and rich emotional lives. The wolfpack culture is complex and thoroughly articulated; readers who follow Kapu through seasons fat and lean, births, deaths, and challenges (serious, but always bloodless) to his leadership will be as devastated as the pack is when he is trapped and removed for a scientific experiment. Working mostly offstage, Julie engineers his return, but he does not rejoin the pack. The rhythms of life on the tundra are slow ones, and the only deaths George describes explicitly are those of wolves who succumb to the contagion that Ice Blink brings; the result is a story that flows at an even, deliberate pace, withoutsave for the brief outbreak of rabiesmuch suspense or sense of danger.
The wolf's-eye view will draw new readers to the books, but fans of the first books, already well-versed in wolf society, may find many of the situations repetitive.
Read an Excerpt
The wolves of the Avalik River ran in and out among the musk oxen. Their ruffs rippled like banners. Ice crystals danced up from their feet. The pack swirled like a twist of wind-blown snow. Their yellow eyes flashed and dimmed in the coming and going of the ice mist. Like the snow, they made no sound.
The musk oxen stopped and stared at the enemy. Then they lowered their shaggy heads and pawed down to the new grass growing under the snow. Their breath rose in steamy clouds and froze on their brows.
Kapu, the young leader of the wolf pack, reared on his hind legs, leaped to point the way, and led his clan to a turquoise-blue rise on the treeless Arctic tundra.
He carried himself proudly, with his chest forward and his head high. His black fur was brushed to a shine by the wind. His body was strongly muscled. He was the leader of the wolf pack that had saved the life of the young Eskimo girl, Miyax--whose English name was Julie Edwards--when she was lost on the Arctic tundra. She, in turn, had saved them by leading them to a new food source during the great caribou famine. The Yupik and Inupiat Eskimos of Kangik called them "Julie's wolf pack."
Kapu was keenly aware of Julie. She was not far away. He whisked his tail. She had read his message to the oxen, for she was no longer afraid that he would kill one. The villagers collected the wool from these sturdy animals to weave into light, warm clothing, and they zealously protected them.
"We are not hunting you," Kapu had said to the oxen with his body movements. "We chase you for the joy of it. We are wolves of the caribou."
Kapu and his followers were having fun. The shaggy herd deciphered this and returned totheir grazing. Julie deciphered it and told her father,
Kapugen. He chuckled and slipped his arm around her shoulders. The two walked quietly home.
Kapu wagged his tail. Chasing the oxen was a fine wolf joke. His rime-gray mate, Aaka, playfully spanked the ground with her forepaws, her rear end in the air. Zing--the beta, or second in command--enjoyed the joke even more than Kapu. His breathing came faster, and the pupils of his eyes enlarged ever so slightly. He smiled by lifting his lips from his glistening teeth. Pearly-white Silver, Kapu's mother, and her ill-tempered new mate, Raw Bones, also smiled. But Amy, Kapu's night-black daughter, did not get the joke. She was not old enough to know that her pack preferred caribou to musk oxen. Nor did she know that some packs harvest only deer and ignore moose, or harvest moose and caribou and ignore deer. Others take elk; a few take musk oxen. When the Avalik River Pack had a choice, they were wolves of the caribou. Wolves have their cultures.
The adolescent Amy studied the curled horns and bony brows of the musk oxen, then looked at her regal father. If he thought the chase was fun, then she did, too. She wagged her tail.
Amy could not possibly know that her pack were caribou wolves. She had been born in a caribou famine. These big Arctic deer had failed to come to Avalik territory for many years. The pack had taken what food they could find--a musk ox killed by a grizzly bear, rabbits, lemmings. Late in the fall they were able to add an occasional moose to their diet, but by March of her first year Amy's pack was starving again. The moose were gone. The wolves grew thin. They tired easily. When the breeding season arrived that month, her parents did not mate. Aaka, her mother, was undernourished. There had not been enough food for her to develop healthy puppies.
The rangy, self-important Raw Bones knew well that the pack had not had enough to eat for years. Nevertheless, he approached Silver to start their family. Kapu rushed to him. Hair rising on his back, ears erect and pointed forward, Kapu talked to him in the wolf language of posturing. Then he lifted his head above him and rumbled a dark authoritative growl that said plainly, "No pups." It is inherent in the leader of the wolf pack that he uses his judgment and makes such a decision. Raw Bones ignored him. He stepped closer to Silver.
Kapu bared his teeth and drew the corners of his mouth forward. His forehead wrinkled.
Raw Bones challenged this reprimand with a jaw snap. Kapu grabbed the back of his neck but did not clamp down with his bone-crushing jaws. He did not need to. He was saying, "I am the leader. No pups." Raw Bones drew his ears back and close to his head. He pulled his tail between his legs and lowered his body. This posture said, "You are the leader. I submit to you."
Obediently Raw Bones slunk off to the edge of the pack in the manner of a chastised wolf citizen. But he did not mean it.
He glanced back to see if Kapu was looking at him. If not, he would sneak-attack him. Kapu was looking. He displayed one canine tooth. It shone lethal white against the black of his lips. "Don't dare," it said. Raw Bones lay down. Rumbling sounds of peevishness rolled in his chest. He did not like being dominated, especially by a younger male.
Kapu did not completely relax. Raw Bones was his rival. He wanted to be leader of the Avaliks, Kapu's pack. He had been alpha male wolf of the Upper Colville River Pack for many years. Then the famine struck. One by one the members of his pack starved to death until he was the only one left alive. When his new mate, Silver, joined him, they survived on rabbits and other small mammals and waited for the famine to end and the feasting to begin.