Wolf Pack of the Winisk River

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Overview

After a harsh Northern Ontario winter, food is scarce and wolves must pursue the caribou north along the Winisk River. A large timber wolf fights off two young males and inserts himself into a pack led by a strong Alpha female. We follow the pack's two-hundred-mile journey along the Winisk River to Hudson Bay and the Severn River, as they face the dangers of human hunters, near-starvation and treacherous rivers. Readers will experience the loyalty and affection of the wolf pack and be captivated by these ...
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Overview

After a harsh Northern Ontario winter, food is scarce and wolves must pursue the caribou north along the Winisk River. A large timber wolf fights off two young males and inserts himself into a pack led by a strong Alpha female. We follow the pack's two-hundred-mile journey along the Winisk River to Hudson Bay and the Severn River, as they face the dangers of human hunters, near-starvation and treacherous rivers. Readers will experience the loyalty and affection of the wolf pack and be captivated by these powerful, intelligent, courageous creatures in their thrilling struggle to survive. Using bold, vivid free verse in this fiercely original literary tour de force, Paul Brown dares to explore the natural beauty of the Great North and the heart of its wildlife.

Paul Brown is a poet, a writer of fiction and a retired English teacher. He has made several canoe trips into Northern Ontario, and in 1988 made the same trip from Webequie to Peawanuck on the Winisk River that the wolf pack makes in his debut novel. Brown lives in Belleville, Ontario.

Artist and First Nation Band Councilor Robert Kakegamic continues the Woodland Aboriginal tradition started by Norval Morrisseau, his cousin the late Carl Ray, and brothers Joachim and Goyce Kakegamic. Robert, a lifelong resident of Sandy Lake, Ontario, a Swampy Cree (Ojibway) First Nation community, brings imaginative and symbolic imagery to his wildlife paintings.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
The adventures of an adult male wolf are chronicled in this distinctive survival story. Readers will identify with the wolf as he travels the land searching for prey and avoids becoming prey himself. The hunt and kill are so graphically detailed that some readers may squirm. The wolf eventually meets a pack of wolves, and he fights the dominant males to become the new leader: the Alpha male of the pack. Wolf then guides the Alpha female, her pups, and several others, on what becomes a two-hundred mile journey along the Winisk River of Canada. During one particularly dangerous hunt, the Alpha female becomes separated from the others. The pack, not knowing if she survived the fight, continues on without her. As they travel, however, Wolf seems focused on a greater purpose. He is secretly pining for the missing Alpha female. Readers of this book will learn how wolves hunt, travel, mate, and survive the seasons in the wilderness. Written in a type of prose, the story seems almost poetic. There are several black and white illustrations of animals throughout the book, but it is the author's description and use of detail that adds splendor and realism not only to the magnificent northern grey wolves but to the natural beauty and harsh realities that can be found in all of nature. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 6–11—With stunning realism, Wolf, an alpha male, and his pack come nose to nose with impending starvation and violent death. This fierce fight against the elements in the Canadian wilderness is wrapped in free verse from a first-time novelist: "viciously Wolf changes his grip/smothering the animal's muzzle and nose in killer jaws/jaws clamped with fifteen hundred pounds of bone-crushing pressure/preventing the caribou from breathing." The piercing eyes of Wolf on the cover hint at Brown's intense text, and each breathless page details fights against predators and prey, and a breathtaking escape from hunters can be traced on a black-line map down the Winisk River to the Hudson Bay. There is little respite from the unrelenting plot. Only the stillness and quiet of Kakegamic's black-line drawings allow readers to take a breath, because they provide visual calm. Even the italicized conversations of various camping and hunting groups' maddening stupidity maintain the swift pace. The force and tension of Brown's work will capture those readers who want the sight, sound, smell, and taste of danger.—Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA
Kirkus Reviews
This debut novel, told in free verse without anthropomorphism or sentiment, will rivet readers with its story of Wolf, a lone alpha male whose life partner was killed two years earlier by a black bear. Wolf appears in a small Canadian town, but, when its resident humans try to shoot him, he flees to relative safety in the wilderness along the Winisk River. At first Wolf snags a stag and feasts. He then attempts other kills, but he really can't take down large prey without help. Finding a female with cubs, he fights off two young male wolves to win a place in the pack. Readers will travel with the pack in search for food as they weather the severe cold of the Canadian forest. The few human characters-campers, hunters and assorted interlopers-provide a rich, added dimension to this survival tale. First Nations artist Kakegamic's spot illustrations offer muscular visual counterpoint to the compelling narrative. This eat-or-be-eaten tale of wolves and assorted anonymous human characters reveals a deep and resonant story about nature of both the wild and human sort. (Fiction. 8-14)
Booklist
"The unnerving cover image of a wolf’s yellow eyes may suggest this title is a thriller, but that’s only partly true. By immersing himself in the mind of a wolf via a stark, free-verse style, Brown has constructed something far more expansive and moving."
Resource Links
"[A] powerful novel of survival...The unique wiriting style captures the single-minded, tenacious purpose of the hunt."
CM Magazine
"Brown, a retired English teacher, takes the animal story to an entirely new level by telling his story, not in prose, but via free verse...Illustrations by Robert Kakegamic, an artist from Sandy Lake, ON, a Swampy Cree (Ojibway) First Nation Community...evoke a sense of an earlier time when all of these creatures shared the lands with only First Nations peoples...One of this year's 'must-buy' books."
Quill & Quire
*no details*
NBA The Official Website of the Minnesota Timberwolves
"Strips away any romanticized notions of life in the wild, revealing a reality that ricochets from the brutality of the hunt to the sensuous beauty of the wilderness. The reader isn't observing the action from a distance, but is right there, experiencing it. That sense of immediacy brings survival of the fittest uniquely into focus, especially when wolves and humans are involved. The story's emotional intensity makes it an appropriate choice for students in middle school and up."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781458757128
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/7/2010
  • Pages: 168

Meet the Author

Paul Brown is a poet, a writer of fiction, and a retired English teacher with thirty years of experience in the high school classroom. He has made several canoe trips into Northern Ontario, and in 1988 made the same trip from Webequie to Peawanuck on the Winisk River that the wolf pack makes in his debut novel, Wolf Pack of the Winisk River. During that journey, Brown fell in love with wolves, their courage, tenacity, intelligence, and fun-loving nature. The Great Boreal Forest of northern Canada remains an unending source of fascination for him. Brown lives in Belleville, Ontario.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Matty

    What do you want.

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

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Good book

    People!!! Stop doing thiswhole namething it anoying i want real reviews!!

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

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Join/Mate

    Name: Scar
    Gender:Female
    Descprition: Has a pure black pelt with dusty patches. She has icy blue eyes
    Mate:None, but wants one
    Pups: none

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

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Armoq! Read this! (Everyone else, KEEP OUT!!!!!!)

    I know you need a mate. I do, too. If you say yes, will you just let me have cubs with you? If not, Lakita needs a mate. She only wants one cub. Read my post @ the first result. It starts like: Mid~Night. Let me join.

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

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Armoq

    Name...Armoq gender...male description...gray with black muzzle and ears. Yellow eyes. Mate...none

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

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Lakita

    Name: Lakita
    Gender: She wolf
    Description: Agile young white wolf with purple eyes
    Bio: Was abandoned by her pack when she was little, but is a sweet kind wolf and vicious in battles.
    Mate: None. But wishes for one
    Pups: None, but wants ONE
    Age: 17 months

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

    Posted April 30, 2012

    A wplf

    Lutras myar

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

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Luna

    Name- Luna Gender- female Fur color- white with silver streaks in tail Eye color- Saphire blue

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

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Midnight

    NAME: Midnight GENDER: Female DESCRIPTION: Pitch black wolf with ice blue eyes. She is a very good hunter and fighter. AGE: 16 moons MATE: Doesn't have one but wants one. PUPS: None but wants some. POSTION: Leader

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Theresa L. Stowell for TeensReadToo.com

    Paul Brown tells the story of Wolf, an Alpha male, and the pack he joins after the death of his mate and their pups. The narrative follows the pack on their journey across the Canadian wilderness during a harsh winter season.

    The pack's interaction with other wildlife, particularly the caribou upon which they feed, produces a realistic tone and balances the pursuit of the wolves themselves by human hunters. Not all human contact is negative though, as Brown shows the curiosity about each other from both wolf and human points of view. Wolf's tale is a powerful one, and Brown doesn't even attempt to hide the merciless facets of a wolf's life.

    Though the narrative itself is educational, the fact that it is interspersed with non-fiction facts about wolves and other wildlife is an additional bonus. Together with pen-and-ink illustrations by Robert Kakegamic, Brown's poetic vision crosses genre boundaries while it introduces an epic journey in a way that young readers will find fascinating.

    Teachers doing a poetry unit would find Brown's easy style and free verse a great selection for classroom use.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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