Julie of the Wolves

Iphigene here.

I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy a book about a girl stranded in North Alaska and a pack of Wolves, but it takes a different turn as I discover more of the Eskimo’s life, skills, and the wolves’ ability to take in a human girl as part of their pack. Through the cold landscape, the harsh environment there was so much warmth in the unfolding of a familial love between a pack of wolves and a lost girl.

She took the journey to escape her life and go to her pen pal in san Francisco, but the more she communed with the Alaskan wilderness and with her wolf pack she discovers her world, the world she loves and her heritage. She was an Eskimo and she will live like an Eskimo.

She survives on what she learned as an Eskimo child leaving with her father (a hunter) and learning from the seal camp. We watch how at the cross roads of a new Arctic life (the coming of Americans, game hunting and modernization) how one can falter and be succumb to the ways of the modern world—TV, radios, planes, and English. Yet, we can choose to hold on to who we are.

Her life began as a Alaskan in an Alaskan village, then as a lonely lost girl, then as a member of a wolf pack—as she contemplates her place in the world succumbing to modernity and forgetting the times of real Eskimos…so then her life parallels like that of the wolf…is their time over…is the time of wolves and Eskimos over….

This story resonates with today’s world…as it faces the same question: is it worth going through the whole trouble for modernity or must we buckle down, take a step back and understand the harmony and spirit of living in the world—understand the equilibrium of things? This book is not limited to 10 to 12 year olds, but is for everyone seeking who they are in this world. It is tempting to assume that the book encourages children to run away, but I think what the world begs us to do is to introspect—to look into ourselves and discover who we are against the backdrop of our culture, society, and the ever changing world.

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