White Wolf

Henrietta Branford, Author, Tim Jonke, Illustrator Candlewick Press (MA) $16.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-7636-0748-7
Less compelling than her Fire, Bed, and Bone, Branford's latest novel again uses a canine perspective to explore social history, this time through the thoughts of Snowy, a white wolf being raised by North American trappers. Snowy's first owners, Jim and his young son, Jesse, believe the white wolf will protect them against ""heathen savages"" (""I got my gun and you got your wolf,"" says Jim). But eventually a North American tribe kills Jim and kidnaps Jesse and Snowy, who they believe holds the power to reawaken the dead spirits of their ancestors. Snowy escapes during a religious ceremony and returns to the wild: ""A wolf needs water that splashes all summer and turns to ice when the sun goes red. A wolf needs sun on his pelt in the springtime and snow on his snout in the fall."" Because Snowy is more removed from people and society than the loyal pet featured in Fire, Bed, and Bone, readers see only fragments of his owners' suffering and the laments of ""the barefoot people."" Thus readers will likely feel less sympathy for the two-legged characters than for the pack of wolves Snowy joins. Ages 9-12. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 89 pages - 978-0-7636-3289-2
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