Wild Angel

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Overview

When Sarah McKensie's parents are murdered in the gold fields of California, the four-year-old girl is saved by a mother wolf and raised in the pack. Part Mowgli, part Tarzan of the Apes, young Sarah survives against all odds. She becomes known as the Wild Angel of the Sierras, for her curiosity about humans causes her to rescue those in need. In time, the tale of the beautifulyoung girl comes to the ears of two men—one who found her parents' bodies and has grieved for the missing child all these years, and the ...
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Overview

When Sarah McKensie's parents are murdered in the gold fields of California, the four-year-old girl is saved by a mother wolf and raised in the pack. Part Mowgli, part Tarzan of the Apes, young Sarah survives against all odds. She becomes known as the Wild Angel of the Sierras, for her curiosity about humans causes her to rescue those in need. In time, the tale of the beautifulyoung girl comes to the ears of two men—one who found her parents' bodies and has grieved for the missing child all these years, and the other her parents' killer, a man who still wants to see her dead.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Murphy's previous novel, There and Back Again, paid homage to Frank L. Baum's Oz books. Her latest volume continues the tradition, this time looking back to Edgar Rice Burroughs's legendary Tarzan series (plus a good dash of Mark Twain). Rachel and William McKenzie are hopeful settlers in the gold fields of 1850 California, but their dreams are cut short when they're murdered in their camp not far from the boomtown of Selby. Avoiding death by hiding in a cave, their three-year-old daughter, Sarah, finds that her survival afterward depends upon the wolf pack that adopts her. Sarah avoids humanity for many years, until a chance encounter and subsequent friendship with a young Indian woman shows her that not all people are to be feared. When she saves a family in winter-shrouded Donner Pass, Sarah earns the name "The Wild Angel," but keeps to the land until she meets journalist and adventurer Max Phillips, who has been haunted by her since the day he discovered her parents' bodies but couldn't find their little girl. Sarah's friendship with Max grows over the seasons in secret, for Max suspects that the man who killed her parents is still nearby. When the secret slips out, Sarah must face her enemy and extract justice as the wolf pack has taught her. In an afterword, Murphy cites Burroughs's "shameless use of coincidence" to "arrange the characters to his liking," which is clearly the case here. This novel, lightweight compared to Murphy's earlier work, functions best as an engaging summer read. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Set during the Gold Rush days in California (1849), Wild Angel is a true "page turner" for teen girls. The reader quickly finds out that the protagonist, Sarah, who from the age of three is raised by wolves after witnessing the brutal murder of her parents, is a true survivor. Sarah is soon known as the "Wild Angel" because of her many humanitarian efforts with travelers seeking their fortunes. Sarah's main connection to the "civilized" world is a softhearted writer named Max who patiently teaches her to speak. In the tradition of Mowgli (Jungle Book) and Ayla (Clan of the Cave Bears), the protagonist is a strong, intelligent, and compassionate. Pat Murphy gives the reader insight into the animal world straightforwardly; however, she slowly unfolds each human character by threading their stories into Sarah's. Sarah grows into womanhood as she lives through an incredible adventure. An unexpected ending provides the imminent possibility of a sequel. Genre: Survival, Coming-of-Age 2000, Tom Doherty Associates, 279p
Library Journal
When a ruthless outlaw murders her parents, four-year-old Sarah McKensie finds herself alone in the wilderness of California s gold-mining country with only a pack of wolves as her guardians and protectors. As she grows, news of a strange feral girl reaches the town of Selby Flat, where an artist decides to discover the child s identity and a killer decides to hunt down the only witness to his murderous deeds. Murphy s (There and Back Again) latest novel forms the middle part of a triptych of tales paying homage to classic works of the imagination. Faithful to the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs s Tarzan tales and Rudyard Kipling s Jungle Book, this story of a young girl s courage and resourcefulness belongs in most fantasy and YA collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Pat Murphy's tale (Tor Books, 2000; pap. 2001) of a girl raised by northern California wolves in the mid-1800's overflows with natural and human dangers. While camping, Sarah's gold prospecting parents are murdered by a robber named Jasper. Unable to locate the three-year-old child before he leaves the desecrated camp, Jasper pursues Sarah through the years. Sarah is taken in by a wolf pack and reared as one of their own. In early childhood, she makes contact with both natives and white settlers, but returns to the wild after each brief meeting, usually accompanied by her littermate, Beka. Across the years, Jasper and Sarah's lives cross with Max, a lonely artist who notifies Sarah's distant aunt of her survival, and various Western townies. Sarah becomes a folklore character, noted for her sudden appearances when immigrants along the Sierra trails need rescuing. All the stories converge when Sarah temporarily joins a traveling circus. Bernadette Dunne reads with authority, differentiating the voices of some characters with changes in tone, pitch, and accent. The story of the Wild Angel of the Sierras veers toward melodrama without fully losing its strain of credible history. Chapter headings quoting Mark Twain--rendered in a fair echo of his craggy tone--keep listeners grounded in Sarah's world. In addition to lots of action, this historical fantasy deals with the role of women and the reality of life in the West.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812590425
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/17/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 1.11 (w) x 1.11 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Murphy lives in San Francisco, California.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2002

    Whoa!

    THis is book was tottally awesome! i've read it like 40 times and i probably wont stop....Sarah is the perfect mowgli/tarzan female raised by wolves...especially cool is her innocence from lying and cooked meat since all she eats is raw (BLEH!) read this book if you love animal/human crossovers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2002

    This was outstanding! From a lover of wolves, and the study of human relations

    This was truly a touching story. When I write reviews about books I tell the story but you should read the book for the details. It is about a small girl named Sara that watched her parents unmercifly murdered under her very eyes. The last words her mother told her was to hide so she did. A day later as Sara clung to her mother's dress and cried a She-wolf (Who ironicly lost her cubs to the same man that killed Sara's parents) found her and took her in. The book tells of how Sara grew into a wild woman (She wasn't crazy) and lived with wolves (It explains how wolves are truly not killers of man but loyal family members that have feelings, like when they mourn for lost members and rejoice with their family. They work together as a team and hey, humans kill and eat animals to, you know. That is why humans picked wolves to be the parents of the dog speices. Their loyalty)Anyway and how she mets humans and finds her aunt who had been looking for her ever since her parents were murdered. She avenges her parents death by killing the murderer and has to pick whether she will live with her human family or the wolves. It is spell binding!

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