The Wolves Are Back
by Jean Craighead George

Price at time of review: $16.99
32 pp.
Penguin Books
New York, NY
ISBN: 9780525479475

Grade Level: 1-4

Reviewed by Nancy McDonough
1st and 2nd Grade Teacher

Jean Craighead George is back, making a triumphant return to tell the story of the 1995 reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park. In another brilliant collaboration with painter Wendell Minor, the iconic author captures the drama and wonder as a wilderness regains its balance.

But, this is not a simple tale of predators and food webs. Rather, it is an account of an ecosystem where sparrows, beavers, dragonflies, ground squirrels, badgers, and wild flowers re-enter the valley because the wolves are back. The narrative is filled with surprises; for instance, the arrival of flycatchers comes as a result of the regrowth of young aspen trees, which occurs because they are no longer being trampled by the over-populated herd of bison. And grizzly bears are able to support two or even three cubs because they dine on leftovers from the wolves’ kill.

With the accuracy of a scientist and the artistry of a poet, George delivers, yet again, a text that informs and inspires. This book, the latest addition to a body of work dating back more than 50 years, is gift to all readers, and was selected as an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2009.

Review posted on 9/8/2008

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