Books Into the Wild: Artists and Rebels It's Monday What Are You Reading Middle Grade Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] The Brave and the Untamable: Stories of the Wild in “When I Met the Wolf Girls” and “Explorers of the Wild”


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Fats here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.


Two weeks ago, after the launch of our new theme, Myra shared “wild” books that had been previously featured on our blog. Today, I have two more “wild” stories to share with you: Explorers of the Wild and When I Met the Wolf Girls. Enjoy!

mr0919gExplorers of the Wild

Text and pictures by: Cale Atkinson
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (2016)
ISBN-10: 1484723406
ISBN-13: 978-1484723401

“No mountain is too tall if you have a friend by your side to climb it.”

Explorers of the Wild is one of the books published earlier this year by Disney Hyperion. This was written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson who also wrote To the Sea and grew up exploring the great Canadian outdoors.


My parents tell me to be careful.

They say you never know what you’ll run into in the wild.

I say I’m an explorer,

and explorers are prepared for anything.

This adorable picture book tells the story of two daring explorers, a young boy and a little bear. Written in first person, it speaks of their mutual love for strange things, their knack for adventure, and their quest to discover the secrets of the wild.


Dedicated to every explorer who runs through the wild with an open mind, and an open heart,” Explorers of the Wild is a fabulous book for the little ones. It’s short, sweet, and filled with adventures! Cale Atkinson’s vibrant paintings make you want to go out and run into the wild! More importantly, this book reminds us that exploring is even more fun when you share adventures with someone!

mr0919hWhen I Met the Wolf Girls

Words by: Deborah Noyes
Illustrations by: August Hall
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Co (2007)
ISBN-10: 0618605673
ISBN-13: 978-0618605675

“Before the wolf girls came,
our world ended at the fence.”

Written in the point of view of a girl named Bulu, When I Met the Wolf Girls tells the remarkable story of two “feral” girls discovered in Midnapore, India. This book was shelved under juvenile fiction because the character of Bulu was imagined. However, the wolf girls in the story — Amala and Kamala — did exist.


Bulu was a young girl who lived at an orphanage run by a Christian missionary named Reverend Singh. His kind wife, referred to by the children as Missus, would sing and kiss and stroke the children’s heads. She has “love enough for all of [them].”


When the Reverend returned from his expedition, he came back with two little girls bundled in sheets. They were found with pups inside a den that was hidden in a giant termite mound. They were brought back to the orphanage where Missus gave them baths, cut their long, matted hair, and gave them food. The wolf girls tore their clothes, walked on all fours, and licked their food in the bowls.

For weeks and months I tried.
I tickled her foot. Kamala snarled.

I brought her a flower.
She showed her teeth.

I hummed her a tune.
Kamala dozed.

I sliced her a mango.
She wrinkled her nose and blew a feather from her lip.


Perhaps she would
speak her own lonely spell
to keep back the roads,
the men with chains and saws,
the boom and blaze of sky fire.

But she is a wolf girl
and has no words.

I have words enough for both of us.

Although the story of the wolf girls is sad and heartbreaking, Deborah Noyes manages to end the book on a hopeful note through the kindness and compassion shown by Bulu. Older kids would probably appreciate When I Met the Wolf Girls more than the younger ones. It’s a tender picture book about two girls who found their home in the wild and refused to be tamed.

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3 comments on “[Monday Reading] The Brave and the Untamable: Stories of the Wild in “When I Met the Wolf Girls” and “Explorers of the Wild”

  1. How are you finding the new Dan Gemeinhart novel – I found myself growing very impatient with The Honest Truth – so I am a little wary about picking up another one of his novels.


  2. Cale Atkinson is from my home province!! So exciting to see a fellow local do well. 😀


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