Family Pack
by Sandra Markle

Price at time of review: $15.95
32 pp.
Charlesbridge Publishing
Watertown, MA
ISBN: 9781580892179

Grade Level: K-3

Reviewed by Tracy Alley
Teacher & Coordinator of Gifted Programs, Madeira City Schools & Adjunct Professor for the University of Cincinnati

Sandra Markle is one of the leaders in the nonfiction picture book field with over seventy publications to her credit; elementary teachers, librarians, and curriculum specialists will have many of her books on their shelves. Her newest book, Family Pack, is the true story of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park.

The story focuses on two real–life wolves in the Leopold pack, Female 7 and Male 2 (the numbers scientists use in the tagging process); they were among fourteen wolves in 1995 in the 2.2 million acre national park. In the book, Markle’s language flows effortlessly, like the lines “now she roams, like a castaway, in a land that is pure unknown”, with Alan Marks’ stunning illustrations from nature.

There is a small section at the end of the book titled “Gray Wolves Are Amazing!” which gives quick facts about gray wolves.Teachers and librarians will not want to skip these interesting tidbits of information, kids will devour them. I highly recommend this book for use in second grade classrooms and on up through middle school. Elementary teachers could link the book to numerous standards such as the food chain, conservation, and/or endangered species. Middle school teachers could use the book to spark a debate on the elimination of wolves from Yellowstone National Park in the 1940’s. I highly recommend the beautifully written and illustrated nonfiction book for any library!

Review posted on 4/18/2011

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