Wild Life

( 53 )

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 ...

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Wild Life

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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.

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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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374380014
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 360,582
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Wild life the charecter and the writer

    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.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    The best

    The best book I have ever read

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Wildlife

    I thought it was good

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    wild girl

    best book i ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Wild life

    A very good book

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Besty

    My fav cz

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Selling at my shcool

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Hi

    I usally dont read books but this book is amazing have to read i love this book its my favorite

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Good

    Good

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Good

    Asome book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Wild life

    Wild life is a good book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Really good book

    This book was the best book i ever read! Troughout the book it was sad and happy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    it had a bad word in it  but it is a good book

    it had a bad word in it  but it is a good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Dad

    Please buy me this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Really good book

    I really enjoyed my time with this book and im sure you will too. Surly a must read!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Frcc

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U W X Y Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    N Wild life

    It is a good book that is great for kid in 4-6graders

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    This book was written by Cynthia Defello. It was a great book wi

    This book was written by Cynthia Defello. It was a great book with a lot of detail. There is a boy whose parents have to leave him with his grandparents he barely knows. And to make it worse his grandpa seems to be mean. While he's there he finds a dog that he loves but he cant keep it. Therefore he runs away with the dogma shotgun, and all the food he can get. He is now out in the wild with his dog but he is having feeling to come home.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Best

    One of the best

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Laura

    I adore this book. Quill is so cute. ;D

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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