Cover image for Red Wolf
Title:
Red Wolf
Author:
Dance, Jennifer, 1949- , author.
Publication Information:
Toronto : Dundurn, [2014]
Physical Description:
251 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
"In the late 1800s, both Native people and wolves are being forced from the land. Starving and lonely, an orphaned timber wolf is befriended by a boy named Red Wolf. But under the Indian Act, Red Wolf is forced to attend a residential school far from the life he knows, and the wolf is alone once more. Courage, love, and fate reunite the pair, and they embark on a perilous journey home. But with winter closing in, will Red Wolf and Crooked Ear survive? And if they do, what will they find?"--Page [4] of cover.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
900 Lexile.
ISBN:
9781459708105
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Life is changing for Canada's Anishnaabe Nation and for the wolf packs that share their territory.

In the late 1800s, both Native people and wolves are being forced from the land. Starving and lonely, an orphaned timber wolf is befriended by a boy named Red Wolf. But under the Indian Act, Red Wolf is forced to attend a residential school far from the life he knows, and the wolf is alone once more. Courage, love and fate reunite the pair, and they embark on a perilous journey home. But with winter closing in, will Red Wolf and Crooked Ear survive? And if they do, what will they find?


Author Notes

Jennifer Dance was born in England and graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Animal Science. She immigrated to Canada in 1979 and still lives in Stouffville, Ontario. With family in the Native community, she has a passion for equality and justice for all people.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Red Wolf is a Native child living with his family when a representative of the Canadian government comes to move his family to the reservation and the children to a residential school. As Red Wolf adjusts to the people who want to "civilize" him, so must Crooked Ear, the young wolf he has befriended. The settlers have placed a new bounty on wolves, orphaning the young cub and forcing his pack to move. While the story begins with fast-paced changes for Red Wolf and Crooked Ear, things get off balance, and the book ends with both of them as adults, having skipped large chunks of the story. The transformation of Red Wolf to "George" and his eventual reclaiming of his roots is relatively well developed, but none of the secondary characters show much growth. Much of their story is told rather than shown, leading to an incomplete and emotionally ineffective experience. The author does an excellent job of incorporating historical facts (including separate endnotes on the Native people and the wolves), illustrating the devastating consequences of settling the frontier in Canada and the forced assimilation of Native children. However, she tries to cover too much context, and the narratives and characters are stretched too thin. Recommended as additional reading on the Native experience.-Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.