Red Wolf

Jennifer Dance. Dundurn (Ingram, dist.), $12.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-459-70810-5
In 1885 Ontario, “white-skin” loggers are destroying the native Anishnaabe people’s land and claiming it as their own. Five-year-old Mishqua Ma’een’gun (Red Wolf) and other children are torn from their homes and forced to attend boarding school. Red Wolf is renamed George Grant and force-fed English and Christianity by the impatient and cruel school staff. Red Wolf is devastated, confused, and abused, his wolf pendant his only comfort. When he is finally allowed to visit his family, the adjustment is jarring, and his resentment grows. Meanwhile, Crooked Ear, a wolf that bonded with Red Wolf after the wolf’s family was murdered, searches for the child. Dance’s first novel addresses a horrific historical period and details Red Wolf’s harsh awakening in painful, hard-hitting scenes. Although the characters can be one-note and the narrative blunt (when Red Wolf’s father asks what he has learned at school the boy thinks, “I learned that I am a savage.... I learned to hide inside myself and pretend I wasn’t there”), readers will finish with a strong sense of the abuses suffered by natives at the hands of settlers. Ages 9–12. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 02/01/2014
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4597-0812-9
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