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Wild Life
     

Wild Life

4.6 54
by Cynthia DeFelice
 

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Erik is preparing for his first-ever hunting trip when he learns that his parents are being deployed to Iraq. A few days later, Erik is shipped off to North Dakota to live with Big Darrell and Oma, grandparents he barely knows. When Erik rescues a dog that's been stuck by a porcupine, Big Darrell says Erik can't keep him. But Erik has already named her Quill and

Overview

Erik is preparing for his first-ever hunting trip when he learns that his parents are being deployed to Iraq. A few days later, Erik is shipped off to North Dakota to live with Big Darrell and Oma, grandparents he barely knows. When Erik rescues a dog that's been stuck by a porcupine, Big Darrell says Erik can't keep him. But Erik has already named her Quill and can't bear to give her up. He decides to run away, taking the dog and a shotgun, certain that they can make it on their own out on the prairie.

In this story of adventure and survival, Erik learns about the challenges and satisfactions of living off the land, the power of family secrets, and the pain of losing what you love.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Themes of accepting change and learning to let go are woven into this winning tale of boy and dog.” —School Library Journal

“Sturdily conveyed, the lessons are telegraphed on each page…it stand out are the deftly folded-in gun lessons and easy acceptance of the way of life they accompany.” —Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Twelve-year-old Erik Carlson has just gotten his hunting license and can't wait to go hunting. But his parents' deployment to Iraq as part of the Army Reserves means that Erik will be moving immediately to North Dakota to live with his mother's parents, two people he remembers seeing once in his entire life. Erik's first day in North Dakota isn't the best, but when he rescues a dog that has been attacked by a porcupine and his grandparents allow him to keep the dog for the weekend, things seem to be looking up. The dog—Quill—is a hunting dog that has been well-trained, and after an argument with his grandfather, Erik decides that he and Quill will go out on their own and use the land and Erik's hunting skills to make it on their own. The hunting adventure in this book will appeal to younger male readers, but it is lacking character development overall. That said, this is an easy read and the well-developed cover will attract male readers who are into hunting. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—With both of his Army Reserve parents leaving for six-month deployments to Iraq, Erik, an upstate New York seventh grader, is sent to live with grandparents he hardly knows. He and his friend Patrick have just aced a course in bird hunting, but now he must leave that all behind as he flies to North Dakota to live with Oma and Big Darrell. He is disenchanted with his new setting and unhappy about the intimidating gruffness of his grandfather, but his spirit revives after finding a lost bird dog with a muzzle full of porcupine quills. Despite objections from Big Darrell, Erik eagerly cares for the healing dog he has named Quill. The two bond instantly, and the boy grows reluctant to return this exceptionally well-behaved dog once her owner is identified. Finding camping gear, outdoor clothing, and a shotgun in the shrinelike bedroom of his Uncle Dan, who died in the Vietnam War, Erik rationalizes a plan to take the gun, the dog, and other supplies and go live off the land. In some fine descriptive passages, the story advances through five days of bird-dog hunting, encountering snow, and sleeping under the stars until the reality of the situation finally brings them home to Oma and Big Darrell, who both offer forgiveness. Themes of accepting change and learning to let go are woven into this winning tale of boy and dog.—Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Kirkus Reviews
A rare boy-and-his-gun story that accepts a hunting culture instead of demonizing the tool. Both of Erik's Reservist parents are being deployed to Iraq. Erik wants to stay in upstate New York with a friend whose father has been helping them get their Hunter Safety Certificates and dreams of living like the pioneers, camping out and shooting game for food. By contrast, being sent to North Dakota to live with farming grandparents last seen nine years ago when he was three just sounds ghastly, though of course that's exactly what happens. Once there, Erik finds the complete emptiness of the prairie landscape boring. While Oma is friendly and kind, Opa, known as Big Darrell,is intimidating.A room belonging to an uncle who died in Vietnam hints at the source of Big Darrell's gruffness, but it doesn't explain his rejection of a dog that Erik helps rescue from a porcupine attack. As his inevitable disgruntlement leads Erik to attempt life in the wild, readers are treated to a modern-day anti-survival adventure. The inevitable mishaps and how Erik copes provide some adventure, but he returns so easily that readers may feel cheated.Sturdily conveyed, the lessons are telegraphed on each page. The boy-and-dogpartnership here is mildly appealing, but what really makes it stand out are the deftly folded-in gun lessons and easy acceptance of the way of life they accompany.(Fiction.8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374380014
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/10/2011
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,314,009
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Themes of accepting change and learning to let go are woven into this winning tale of boy and dog.” –School Library Journal

“Sturdily conveyed, the lessons are telegraphed on each page…it stand out are the deftly folded-in gun lessons and easy acceptance of the way of life they accompany.” Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Cynthia DeFelice is the author of many bestselling books for young readers, including The Ghost of Fossil Glen, Signal, The Missing Manatee, and Weasel. Her books have been nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award and listed as American Library Association Notable Children's Books and Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, among numerous other honors. She lives in upstate New York.

Customer Reviews

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Wild Life 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Erik is a great charecter for this book.The writer is very discriptive,and he adds alot detailin his book.And Erik is very ditermened becaus I could tell how much he wanted to keep the dog.And I feel bad for qill with all of those thorns all over her face and I wonder how they got there.Did she jump on one or bump in to one when she was runing somwhere?I also wonder how does she survive out there in the heat sarving .I feel so bad for her.I think big darell is so mean to not let qill stay with them that is cold.That is beond mean.It's to bad that his parents had to leave Erik I would be upset if that hapened to me.It must cool have got a srtifikit for hunting it sounds like fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book I have ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
best book i ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Asome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is selling at my school for $4.99 and this is $9.99 so i think ill buy it at my shcool...sorry nook inc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usally dont read books but this book is amazing have to read i love this book its my favorite
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was the best book i ever read! Troughout the book it was sad and happy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it had a bad word in it  but it is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please buy me this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed my time with this book and im sure you will too. Surly a must read!!!!
SCHSReader1 9 months ago
I think that this book would be good for somebody who like hunting and suspense. Every time you stop reading it you want to read more and knows what happens next.I think you can’t get a better book for hunting. The book has very good detail and even makes you tear up some at the end.
TractormanIH More than 1 year ago
Book title and author: Wild life Cynthia Defelice Title of review: My book review Number of stars (1 to 5): 5 Introduction A boy went to his grandparents’ house and ran away with a stray dog in order to keep the dog. I think the book was well written and has adventure but is not too unreal. This story is adventurous and realistic. Description and summary of content The boy’s parents are both in the military and are off duty, as for now, and they are planning to go camping for his birthday. Then his parents both get called out to get deployed and he is sent to his grandparents in South Dakota. Then they find a stray dog and the owner is nowhere to be found so they decide to keep it. The owner finds the dog is missing and is going to get it and the boy runs away in order to keep the dog. He is really attached to this dog. Then he is on his own. Now the adventure begins. Evaluation The boy Has a shotgun and a dog so they hunt, fielders, and cook quail, and other types of birds. They have some matches and collect fire wood to make and cook food. They have a small military tent that he took from his uncle’s room that died in the military. Conclusion The book is well organized and the story is believable. This could be a real life story and has probably happened before and will happen again. A boy went to his grandparents’ house and ran away in order to keep his new best friend. The main point of the story is that you have a right to have a best friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good book that is great for kid in 4-6graders
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I adore this book. Quill is so cute. ;D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring at first,but later on it gets realy interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the so much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cuz i love scary stories ur stories r so scary :o
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it. Has a great message to go with it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart breaking and amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shoots zero