When I Met the Wolf Girls

When I Met the Wolf Girls

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by Deborah Noyes, August Hall
     
 

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Two little girls—raised by wolves—have just arrived at the orphanage, and life will never be the same.

Based on a true story, this book is about many things at once: family, friendship, and what it means to have a home.

Overview

Two little girls—raised by wolves—have just arrived at the orphanage, and life will never be the same.

Based on a true story, this book is about many things at once: family, friendship, and what it means to have a home.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sara Lorimer
Amala and Kamala were two feral children found in a wolves' den in India in 1920. Apparently having been raised by wolves, they never managed to adapt to human society. This fictionalized version of their story is told by Bulu, a girl at the Christian orphanage where the wolf girls are taken. Bulu tries to befriend the girls, but they snarl and bare their teeth at her. Did Kamala dream of their wolf mother, Bulu wonders, of her strong heart beating through the warm fur? The rich and beautifully-colored illustrations go perfectly with the text. The contents may frighten some young children; subject matters include orphans, the death of a child, spells, and God. Young adults, on the other hand, might be drawn to the Gothic tone (and orphans, the death of a child, spells, and God). Despite the serious subjects, there are bits of humor in both the words and the pictures.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6
The one day Bulu forgets to recite her daily spell "to keep the wild away," the jungle seems to invade the peaceful world of the orphanage in Midnapore, India. Two girls, Amala and Kamala, who had been living with wolves, are brought in and placed with the other children. Rev. Singh, who runs the orphanage, aims to "tame [them], rinse the jungle out and fill [them] with God's mercy." Bulu grows from resenting the attention given the wolf girls to grieving at the death of Amala and, finally, to showing empathy for Kamala's loneliness. She willingly supplies the words the wolf girl is lacking. The acrylic art is rendered on large, stylized spreads. The story subtly explores the tension between those who would allow the jungle to exist on its own terms and those who would eliminate it, with men "ripping down trees for miles." There is also the notion of taming the wild, which permeates the story and infuses it with a sense of sadness. Scenes of the wolf girls crawling, lapping food from a dish on the floor, sniffing at bowl and pillow, or folded in on themselves in dark isolation demonstrate the futility of helping them live among people. In a perfect departure from the pattern of spreads, Bulu's unsuccessful attempts to befriend Kamala are shown in encircled vignettes. An author's note informs readers that the story is based on the real recovery of two girls in 1920.
—Marianne SaccardiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Eight-year-old Bulu tells of the two wild children, Kamala and Amala, who were brought to her Indian orphanage to be tamed like the jungle around them. Illustrated in somber shades of brown, green and purple, the book opens with a scene of a vast watery wilderness and tiny wolf mother outside her den, which recalls Thomas Locker. It closes with Kamala and Bulu huddled in a room while fireworks light up the denuded landscape outside. In lively prose that begs to be read aloud, the author brings to life a vanished imperial world of missionaries, orphanages and shadowy jungle. Stick-limbed children are a contrast to the oversized, more rounded animals. The message here is quite different from that in Jane Yolen's The Wolf Girls (2001), presented as a mystery: Were they or weren't they truly feral children? Basing her story on an actual incident in northwest India in 1920, the author includes a photograph of the girls, a note about the history and sources including a website from which you can access the missionary's own account. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
The story of Amala and Kamala, feral girls found in India in 1920 in, the account goes, a wolf's den, is an enduringly fascinating one. . . . There's a thematically appropriate echo of Henri Rousseau in the depiction of the tenuous boundary between the wild and the domestic.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Noyes tells the story in free verse through the fictionalized viewpoint of one of the other children in the orphanage, a girl named Bulu. Hall's stylized acrylic illustrations show the feral children eating on their knees, licking their plates like dogs, loping on all fours, and snarling at Bulu's attempts at friendliness. . . As Noyes points out, the story probably inspired Kipling's classic Mowgli books.
Booklist, ALA

Hall's luminous acrylic illustrations are varied in tone, from the deep browns of the girls' skin to the gold of the village scenes to the vibrant purples and greens of the jungle. Especially notable is one wordless double-page spread in which the jungle animals watch a fireworks display with the same expressions of wonderment—and sometimes trepidation—as the humans on the previous page. Small touches of humor that come through elsewhere in the art prevent the book from becoming overly heavy. . . . What will most captivate young readers is the book's unique presentation of the familiar themes of friendship and family.
Horn Book

In lively prose that begs to be read aloud, the author brings to life a vanished imperial world of missionaries, orphanages and shadowy jungle.
Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547349602
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/14/2007
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
File size:
26 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Deborah Noyes writes for children and adults and is a photographer, editor, and former zookeeper. To learn more about her books and photography, and for playlists of her favorite music, visit hauntedplaylist.blogspot.com. Ms. Noyes lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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When I Met the Wolf Girls 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Shikara. Gender:shewolf. Appearance: she is lithe and thin, with a long feathery tail. Her fur is all silver except for a black swirl on her right paw. He has emerald green optics. Family:none. Mate:none. Crush: you dont need to know. Personality: very shy and friendly. She can get irritated easily though. Abilities: very good at running hunting and swimming. She can be very convincing. Weaknesses: she is not the best fighter around.