Saturday, July 11, 2009

Julie and The Wolves Review

Dear Reader, 7/10/09

I have recently finished reading the book Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. When a young Eskimo girl named Julie wanted to get away from her arranged marriage and strict aunt, she could think of no better person to travel to than her pen pal Amy, who lives in San Francisco. She was hoping to do this by getting jobs on cargo ships and traveling on the ships to San Francisco. While on her way to the port where the cargo ships docked, Julie got lost and could not find her way to civilization. Starving and desperate Julie tried to take food from a pack of wolves and they amazingly understood her trouble and let her stay with them. After several weeks of living with the wolves, Julie was abandoned by them because she could not keep up with them when they left after the winter ended. The feeling of losing companions you were close to was not new for Julie. Her mother died when she was four, and her father became lost on a hunting trip. The feelings of being alone made Julie remember her past. She lived with her strict aunt and the only time Julie enjoyed was the time she spent reading the letters sent to her by Amy. Julie’s aunt forced her to marry a man that turned out to be greedy and rude. Most of Julie’s time was spent at home helping her aunt sew.

Julie was lucky and was able to catch back up with the wolf pack. One of the small wolves had become sick and Julie nursed it back to health, and while doing so, learned that she liked the Eskimo way of life more than the way of life of civilized people because Eskimo people were more connected to and reliant on nature. She decided that she disagreed with the ways of civilization when a hunting plane shot the leader of the wolf pack. Several weeks later Julie found her way back to her village.

Julie got the idea of going to San Francisco from he pen pal Amy. This part of a letter sent especially persuaded Julie to make the journey.

“And when you get to San Francisco, we will buy you summer dresses,
and because you like curls, we’ll curl your hair. Then we’ll ride the trolley to
the theater and sit on velvet seats.
Mom says you can have the pink bedroom that looks over the garden
and down the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
When are you coming to San Francisco?
Your pen pal,
Amy” (70)

Amy felt like San Francisco would be a perfect place to travel because of the letters sent by Amy. It was warm, there were things to do to entertain you, and Julie could visit with her pen pal and talk without needing to wait for a reply in the mail. If it was not for this and other letters sent, Julie might not have felt so motivated to make such a long journey.

I enjoyed reading Julie of the Wolves because I can relate to Julie. I enjoy camping with my friends in the woods and I know how difficult and frustrating nature can often be. Julie had to face high winds and sub-zero temperatures. If it were not for her knowledge of wolves she probably would have starved. The wolf pack provided meat for Julie to eat and allowed her to stay with them as they lived in their dens for the coldest part of the year.

I rate this book a 10 out of 10. I feel like while you are reading this book you really get a feel for what the weather was like and how safe and comfortable Julie felt when she was with the wolf pack. I also love how the author made the ending of the book unexpected. You would think the story would end by Julie finding her way to her pen pal Amy. But actually, Julie changed her mind about what she thought about an Eskimo’s lifestyle. She decided that although some of the rules were unfair, being close to nature and helping out your village were what Julie really wanted.

Reviewer (please leave a comment to tell me what you thought about my review)


  1. If you enjoyed this book then you really need to read the sequels to it. They are just as good.

  2. are they sequels?