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This blog is managed by us two sisters, known to some as Ants and Epic. We're a pair of up-and-coming authors and avid readers. This blog is mainly full of honest, Christian book-reviews and an occasional update about our writing. We love hearing from you all so feel free to drop a comment anywhere to just say hi!
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Series Review: Julie of the Wolves

Summary:  JULIE OF TE WOLVES-Faced with the prospect of a disagreeable arranged marriage or a journey across the barren Alaskan tundra, 13-year-old Miyax chooses the tundra. She finds herself caught between the traditional Eskimo ways and the modern ways of the whites. Miyax, or Julie as her pen pal Amy calls her, sets out alone to visit Amy in San Francisco, a world far away from Eskimo culture and the frozen land of Alaska.
During her long and arduous journey, Miyax comes to appreciate the value of her Eskimo heritage, learns about herself, and wins the friendship of a pack of wolves. After learning the language of the wolves and slowly earning their trust, Julie becomes a member of the pack.
                  JULIE-Julie's decision to return home to her people is not an easy one. But after many months in the wilderness, living in harmony with the wolves that saved her life, she knows the time has come.

Julie is not prepared, however, for all the changes that she finds. Her father has forsaken many of the old Eskimo traditions. He has given up his sled dogs for a snowmobile, and now looks after the musk oxen that serve as the village's income. He will do anything to protect them -- even shoot any wolves that might threaten the herd. Julie knows that, like her father, she must find a way to reconcile the old ways with the new. But how can she do that without putting her beloved wolves in danger?

Thoughts: (Yes, I know there's a third in the series but I'm not sure I'll ever get around to reading it so I'm reviewing these two as a series.) 
I must have been around six when I fist picked up Julie of the Wolves at our local library. It was a small book and I might have read it all in one sitting...I don't remember though. All I know is that I didn't have it for very long. I didn't learn the name of the book, it was simply the book about the girl who lived with the wolves, but it was magic for me. An elusive book without a title that lurked on the edge of my memory and whose enchantment held me spellbound for a long time afterwards. Well, needless to say I've been searching for that book for many long years unsuccessfully until a few months back when it just sorta fell into my lap at a used bookstore. I recognized it immediately and reread it. While not as magical as I remembered, it was still an exciting and intriguing story. But I read it and that was that...until a few weeks ago when I discovered the sequel at our new library (we've moved a few times since my discovery of the first). Obviously I snatched it up gleefully and devoured it quickly. Julie, the sequel, was still a good story and was fascinating in its own way with its wonderful detail of life in Alaska, but it held less magic for me than the first. Julie of the Wolves tells a tale of survival on a bitter landscape with the help of those old time terrors, Wolves (and hungry wolves at that!). Into this story is woven stories, myths, beliefs and superstition as a way of life and the ancient Eskimo culture just flows off the pages. In Julie the culture is balanced between the old and the new and is far more real and believable than than its predecessor. Even so, both books are fun, easy and occasionally magical reads!

Content: In the first book Julie/Miyax is a thirteen year old girl who is in an arranged marriage and so, technically speaking, she was married. Nothing was supposed to happen until they were older but the boy who was her husband is crazy and at one point he attacks her and pins her to the floor. While it is a little unclear what exactly happens, by the time she escapes from him, she is pulling her dress back up on her shoulder and feeling ill. This scene is very short, not detailed and a little vague, I know it went over my head when I first read it. Aside from that there isn't really anything content wise as long as you understand that they openly discuss the Eskimo beliefs and religions as part of their culture. This really is a pretty clean series and the first can be easily ignored.

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