Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Wolf’s Boy

The Wolf’s Boy
By Susan Williams Beckhorn
Disney-Hyperion, 2016. Fiction. 240p.

Set in prehistoric times, this book tells the story of Kai, abandoned to the wolves as a baby because of his club foot, who miraculously survives and is brought back to the human village. Forbidden to hunt or even touch a weapon because of the bad luck his people believe follow him, he shocks the village even more when he adopts a motherless wolf cub.

This middle-grade book made it onto the list of Provo City Library’s “Best Children’s Books of 2016.” It’s a story about many things, including growing up, disabilities and bullying, how wolves transformed into dogs, surviving the harshness of nature, the ties of family, and the power of determination. It’s a great survival adventure with vivid descriptions of hunting, spear making, wolf packs, encounters with Neanderthals, vicious mountain cats, shamans, and a landscape of ice and snow.

The characters are memorable, with real emotions and complicated motives. For me, this story never took a misstep, and I wanted more of Kai’s journey. Here’s hoping that the slight possibility the author leaves for a sequel turns into something!

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