Wolf Child

Overview

Teo has no friends. Too weak to hunt with the men and too old to gather roots and herbs with the women and children, he has become the apprentice of the old toolmaker, Mova. But Mova, silent and absorbed in his work, is poor company for a lonely nine-year-old. Then one day Teo makes a friend: an orphaned wolf cub. Unfortunately, Ohnka, the stern leader of Teo's people, does not allow animals in the cave and believes that wolves bring bad luck and steal food. Finally he relents, but only a little: The wolf child ...
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Overview

Teo has no friends. Too weak to hunt with the men and too old to gather roots and herbs with the women and children, he has become the apprentice of the old toolmaker, Mova. But Mova, silent and absorbed in his work, is poor company for a lonely nine-year-old. Then one day Teo makes a friend: an orphaned wolf cub. Unfortunately, Ohnka, the stern leader of Teo's people, does not allow animals in the cave and believes that wolves bring bad luck and steal food. Finally he relents, but only a little: The wolf child can stay until she is old enough to hunt for herself, until the first snow.

Too weakened by illness to be a hunter, nine-year-old Teo is apprenticed to the toolmaker Mova but leads a lonely existence until he finds and befriends an orphaned wolf cub. But food is scarce and the leader of the clan is against keeping the animal.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- While the lovely watercolor illustrations and story make this an attractive book, Nolan's Ice-Age world lacks the core of reality which gives good historic fiction its edge. Nine-year-old Teo, too weakened by illness to hunt with the men, is learning to become a toolmaker. When he finds an orphaned wolf cub, he begs to keep it and permission is reluctantly granted by Ohnka, the tribe's stern leader--but only until winter when she is old enough to hunt for herself. He is true to his word and, with the first snow, the wolf child, now a loved companion, is forced into the wild. She returns, however, in time to save both Teo and Ohnka from a mammoth's charge, and is welcomed back to the tribe. Although the book is sprinkled with historic detail and the kinds of legends and beliefs shared by many primitive peoples, both the story and illustrations have been sweetened and sanitized to Disneyesque proportions. The stock characters are handsome, clean, neatly groomed, and, although this is the Ice Age, they wear clean, fluffy furs which only partially cover their healthy, well-porportioned bodies. There is no real sense of cold, danger, or hunger, and illness is only mentioned as the source of Teo's isolation (although he looks healthy in the illustrations). While the sentiment and sense of adventure make this an appealing story, children looking for a story set in a primitive world will get a stronger sense of the daily struggle for food from Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), and the real dangers faced by a sickly child from T. A. Dyer's A Way of His Own (1981, both Houghton). --Eleanor K. MacDonald, Beverly Hills Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780027681413
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1989
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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