Part 2: Book Talk around Topic – Wolves

By Jill Eurich

Sometimes I find it interesting to read several different kinds of books on a single topic.  An example of this for me has been doing some reading about wolves.  In our classroom library we have several books about wolves.

One book is Wolves written and photographed by Buck Wilde.  Isn’t that a great name for an author writing about wolves?  This book is divided into different topics about wolves with lots of wonderful photographs.

   The Wolves by Brian Heinz with pictures by Bernie Fuchs has beautiful illustrations and is a very poetic and informative text about the tough challenges of survival for wolves. Listen to the opening of this book. “The mountains ached with a deep chill, and their rugged shoulders huddle over the valley below. A grey cloud creeps over the peeks and roles slowly, hugging the ground down the slopes. The cloud is deep and heavy, miles across, as it pushes its way past the timberline of the lodge pole pines. In twisted, heaving swirls, it carries a thousand tons of snow. And it carries the wolves.”

Heinz, Brian J. The Wolves, 1996, Dial Books for Young Readers, NYC, NY

And then there are two books by Jean Craighead George who has had a lifelong interest in wolves.

   Look to the North: A Wolf Pup Diary with illustrations by Luci Washburn is a diary of the lives of three wolf pups from their first day through ten and a half months. Each entry has a description of what is happening around them through the different seasons and then a more detailed description of the wolf pups as the grow.

  Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George is the story of a girl who runs away from her village into the Alaskan wilderness.  When Julie loses her way, she teams up with a pack of wolves for survival. In order to be accepted and remain in the pack Julie has to observe the wolves carefully and learn their habits. She ends up loving them. Through Julie’s eyes as readers we too learn about the wolves and develop feelings for them as well.

It can be interesting to combine fiction and nonfiction books around a topic.  I recommend all of these books if you find wolves intriguing as I do. I invite you to have the rich adventure of reading these books together or you can also help you combine other books in our library around interest you may have.

Gathering Blue

By Lois Lowry

I was drawn to reading this book for several reasons when I came across it in a bookstore a couple of weeks ago. The first reason is that I love books by Lois Lowry and I am amazed at the range of books she writes.  I laughed out loud reading All About Sam to my son when he was little and we went on to enjoy the Anastasia books together. I loved  A Summer To Die even though it was sad and got very wrapped up in Number the StarsLooking Back is a different kind of memoir that really interested me because she connects vignettes of her life to photographs. Reading The Giver, I felt like someone might feel in front of a snake charmer, totally enthralled but with a sense of foreboding and dread. So since Gathering Blue was written by an author I enjoy, it piqued my interest.  I am also drawn by books with titles that I don’t understand. I want to read the book and try to puzzle out the connection and I was interested in doing that with Gathering Blue. Also, it said it was a companion book to The Giver and I wanted to understand what that meant.

For all of these reasons I was drawn to reading Gathering Blue and I was not the least bit disappointed!  So if any of these reasons pique your interest I hope you’ll try it and if you do let me know because I would love to talk with someone about the book!

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