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A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: The 1982 Newbery Winner

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This is kind of a sad one for me (Benji) since it will by my last Newbery Pie review for a while. Due to other commitments, I’ll be stepping away for a few months. Sara will be carrying the Newbery Pie torch by herself , and will be going back to some of the books that we had already read and reviewed before she joined, and adding her two cents. Today, we’ll be taking a look at A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.

Sara’s Review: William Blake was a 19th century British artist and writer, most famous for his two poems “The Tyger” and the “The Lamb.” In the 1982 Newbery winning book, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn, Nancy Willard bring Blake back to life as a whimsical, fantastical character with a magical inn. He has a magical flying car that transports his guest and he wears a marmelade hat. In a way, he reminded me of Dahl’s Willy Wonka. At William Blake’s Inn, you are taken to your room by a rabbit, you might have a bear for your bed and eating breakfast “on the house” is taken quite literally. William Blake will take you for a walk on a Milky Way. He ends arguments with dances and tells delightful bedtime stories, which teach universal lessons like “All things are new in the morning.”

I found this book quite delightful. The text and illustrations work seamlessly to transport the reader to a magical place. I like how you could read this as a continuous story or open it to a page in the middle and just read that individual poem. My favorite illustration is opposite “The King of Cats Orders an Early Breakfast.” A table is set precariously on top of the inn, only kept upright by magic. The King of Cats is at the table, crown on his head and a napkin tied around his neck. Servers are bringing up platter to the table by ladder. It is before dawn, so all of this takes place under a starry, moonlit sky.

A Visit to William Blake’s Inn is the first picture book that won the Newbery Award. Some people have difficulty wrapping their heads around a picture book winning the Newbery. The fact that the main character is an author I am very familiar with from my undergraduate studies is a good reminder of the type of critical reading that is the task of the Newbery Committee. Like an English major, they must analyze a work based on criteria. The members are more widely read than even the biggest of book nerds and they read books multiple times. Part of loving the award is respecting the Newbery Committee members and the decisions they make. I give A Visit to William Blake’s Inn 4 out of 5 stars.

Benji’s Review: I know it’s our last time reviewing a book together for a while and I should probably play nice, but I’m afraid that I have to disagree with Sara about a couple of things. I didn’t like William Blake’s Inn all that much, story wise. I loved the illustrations, the Provensens are amazing, and I have no problem with the Caldecott honor is received. It totally deserved it, but for a book to beat Ramona Quimby, Age 8, it’s got to be a spectacular book, and I thought it was just ok. The nonsensical poems were decent, but the overall text was in no way better than Ramona.

I have no problems with a picture book winning the Newbery. I was so happy for Last Stop on Market Street, but if a picture book does win, it needs to be more distinguished than all the other books of that year, and for me, this one just didn’t beat Ramona.

Like Sara said, the Newbery committees are super-well read. They read everything, but that doesn’t mean that their decisions are always the best. There are always politics involved, and certain members of the committee are sometimes more popular or “important” than others and their opinions hold a little more weight (just like any other committee). It isn’t a perfect system, but we usually get a really good book out of it. They just sometimes drop the ball. (Cough Charlotte’s Web Cough Cough) and I feel like they did this time. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn would have made a fine Newbery Honor, but I’m not convinced it deserved to win the whole shebang.

I give it 3 out of 5 Newbery Pies.

Jacob Have I Loved, The 1981 Newbery Winner

Hi! Welcome to Newbery Pie. Today we’ll be discussing Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson’s second Newbery winner.

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Sara’s Review: 

Jacob Have I Loved is a novel of two twins: Sara Louise, nicknamed Wheeze, born first, and Catherine, who was born not breathing. Catherine has always been sick and fragile, causing her to be worried and fussed over by her parents and grandmother. Sara Louise has never given her family cause for worry, making her feel unloved and unwanted. Catherine also has a beautiful singing voice, and charms everyone she meets. The girls live on a tiny island in Chesapeake Bay in the 1940s. Most of the men on the island are involved with the seafood trade, and the twins’ father is no exception. Everyone on the island is Methodist and is concerned with proper behavior. There are frequent references to the Ten Commandments in the book. I became confused and asked Benji why Katherine Paterson got them wrong. He told me that she got them exactly right. I, who had to prepare my children for sacraments in the Catholic Church, insisted they were wrong. It was then that we discovered that Protestants and Catholics have different versions of the Ten Commandments. I also spent a lot of time wondering, “Who the heck is Jacob?” (mentioned in the title) because Katherine Paterson doesn’t reveal the Biblical reference to twins Esau and Jacob until almost 2/3 into the book.

There are two important characters in Wheeze’s life, and the fact that Catherine takes both of them away from her cements Wheeze’s hatred for her. One is her childhood best friend, Call (short for McCall) and the other is Captain Hiram Wallace, who is just returning to the island (he left in shame after his cowardice during a thunderstorm compelled him to chop down his father’s mast). Wheeze develops a school girl crush on 70 year old Wallace. She is heartbroken when he decides on a “marriage of convenience” after he loses his house in a hurricane. Catherine invites herself along on visits that Call and Wheeze make to Captain Wallace.  After he gets married, Wheeze refuses to visit, so Catherine continues to visit without her sister. After his wife dies, Captain Wallace uses her money to send Catherine to a private boarding school to continue her music education. This angers Wheeze. The final straw comes with Call. The book takes place during WWII so Call has a stint in the Navy. After the war is over, he returns to the island and tells Wheeze and Captain Wallace that Catherine has accepted his proposal of marriage.  Eventually, Sara Louise leaves the island, is educated as a midwife and finds happiness.

I felt sorry for Wheeze during the book; I kept hoping that she could move past her jealousy and hatred, but she never could. It made me grateful for my relationship with my own sister, Amy. Although, we were not twins, we are less than 13 months apart. We were quite different growing up, and had several fights as teens. Most infamously, when I was 16, I threw a book at her and hit her in the face. It was Stephen King’s Insomnia. However, we now share a lot of similarities and we are very close. We are both school librarians, live less than a mile away from each other and blog together. She even travels with me every year from North Carolina to Parma, Michigan for Nerd Camp!

I am giving Jacob Have I Loved 4 out of 5 pies. I had to take away one because, to use a reference from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wheeze’s crush on Captain Wallace gave me the major wiggins.

Benji’s Review: I like Katherine’s Paterson’s books a lot. I’ve only read two, but some day, when I have some free reading time, I’m going to read the rest of them. I thought this book was masterfully written. I liked the hatred theme throughout  the book. Until Wheeze let go of her hatred, she is absolutely unable to find real happiness. I didn’t like her sister any more than she did. She was kind of a brat, but at the same time, as an outside reader, I could see that by holding on to her bitterness, Wheeze was really only hurting herself.

I didn’t mind her old man crush on Captian Wallace. He was one of the few people in the town who actually paid attention to Wheeze, and teenagers have weird feelings sometimes. I guess it didn’t bother me because it bothered Wheeze. She knew it wasn’t normal, and she eventually got over it.

Cool fact: I used to live in the valley that Wheeze moves to at the end of the book.

I give the book five out of five Newbery Pies.

A Gathering of Days: The 1980 Newbery Winner

We made it to the 80s! This is the decade in which Sara and i spent a lot of our childhood, so we’re excited. We’re kicking the decade off with A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos.

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Sara’s Review: The 1980s started off with a difficult read: a journal of a young girl, Catherine, growing up in New Hampshire during the 1830s. The language was very stilted and old-fashioned; as an English major, I adjusted to it easily, but I can’t imagine any of my students or my own children persevering. In addition to the language, the book is quite boring at first. Events like losing one’s lesson book are not going to entice today’s young readers to continue with the book.

Fortunately for Benji and myself, some exciting things eventually happen to Catherine. She encounters a runaway slave, whom she chooses to assist by giving him a quilt. Her father decides to remarry so she finds herself with a new stepmother and stepbrother. Tragically, she loses her best friend Cassie due to illness. However, since the beginning of the book feels like watching paint dry, most readers will likely abandon the book before the more exciting events occur.

I give A Gathering of Days 2 out of 5 pies.

Benji’s Review: I agree with Sara on this one. It was pretty boring. It would be really hard to write a good novel in journal format, I think, especially one that’s supposed to be written by a girl in her tweens. I feel like a journal like that would have to be full of random facts about her boring day to be believable at all. The one excellent thing this novel did, in my opinion, was portray the days as kind of random, but still brought them all together into the bigger story in the end. I always felt like I was reading the journal of a young girl from the 1930s, but there wasn’t a whole lot thrown in there that got wasted in painting the big picture. That’s kind of remarkable to me.

That being said, I didn’t really enjoy reading it. By the time that Cassie died, I didn’t really have any kind of connection with any of the characters. Then Blos goes out and kills off one of the characters that I didn’t really care about. It kind of felt like the author was trying to manipulate me into caring. Kind of like a last second hail mary to try to save the novel.

This could have been published in the 20s or 30s, and I might have question that it was really the most distinguished book of the year. But the 80’s? Come on Newbery committee. Let’s hope that the rest of the decade is better.

I also give it two out of five Newbery Pies.

 

 

 

The Westing Game: The 1979 Newbery Winner

We’re back! We took a few weeks off for the Christmas break, but today we’re returning with a very popular Newbery winner, Ellen Raskin’s  The Westing Game.

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We’ll start things off with Sara’s Review, as usual.

16 heirs. Millions of dollars at stake. 1 murderer. I was very frustrated with this book. The action seemed to unfold very slowly in the beginning. All the characters had flaws, and many of them appeared to be terrible people. I couldn’t figure out the mystery so I was surprised throughout the book, right along with the characters. The judge was my favorite character because she isn’t greedy and shows concern that one of the heirs might be harmed by the game. With 3/4 of the characters being adults and the rest being teens, this stretched the limit of the Newbery age criteria quite a bit. The ending was satisfying and I like that I was updated on what happened to all the heirs. However, I felt like I was reading the novel version of the Clue movie, based on the board game. “Miss Scarlett did it in the library with the candlestick?” The comparison isn’t quite fair since this book predated the movie. I give the book 3 Newbery Pies.

Benji’s Review:

I have to disagree with Sara about the characters. None of them were really terrible to me. Not many of them were good per se (Side note: I think that was my first time ever to write the phrase per se.) but they all had their reasons for acting the ways that they did.

I had recently read The Westing Game, so none of the mystery was very mysterious to me this time around. I already knew what all of the clues meant, who the “murderer” was and all that, so it kind of weakened my enjoyment of the novel, and made it more of a chore to get through this time.  I did have a flash of inspiration, though. This book needs to have a graphic novel version made, so somebody get on that. I do agree with Sara, that this book does have a Clue feel to it, but I think it was intentional. (mimicking the board game, not the movie).

This time around, I give it four out of five Newbery Pies.

Our final Newbery, Caldecott and Geisel predictions.

Sara and I made our final Newbery, Caldecott and Geisel predictions. You can read the post here.

Bridge to Terabithia: The 1978 Winner

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Hi! Welcome to this week’s Newbery Pie. We’re be discussing Bridge to Terabithia today. We’ll start with Sara’s Review.

My Newbery obsession began back in Fall  of 2001 during my Materials for Children class in Library School. When I got pregnant with my daughter in 2002, I bought that year’s Newbery winning book, Linda Sue Park’sA Single Shard and read it aloud to her as a newborn. She turned 13 about week ago and I finally read the Newbery winning book from the year of my birth, Katherine Paterson’s A Bridge to Terabithia.  Amazingly, the only things I have heard about this book before now is that a girl and boy are friends and they have an imaginary kingdom.

Jess is ready to start school as the fastest boy in 5th grade. He starts his heat in recess, and pulls in the lead, but is at the end is beaten…by a girl, the new girl, Leslie Burke. He is a sore loser at first, but eventually they become friends. They hang out at school and on the bus, taking on 7th grade bully, Janice Avery. At home, they travel across the creek by a rope swing to a magical land called Terabithia, where they are King and Queen.

Then comes the moment there I could no longer breathe. Jess is invited by Ms. Edmonds to a museum and purposely does not invite Leslie. I must say, as  a public school teacher, I had to majorly suspend my disbelief that she would call up a child and take him somewhere without speaking to the parents and guaranteeing permission, even in the late seventies.  It definitely would never have happened now as it did in the theatrical version set in the present. When Jess returns home, he finds out that his parents have assumed that is dead because Leslie drowned in the creek after the rope swing breaks. Jess world is shattered, as was mine. I cried, especially as a mother of three elementary-aged girls. The fact that Leslie could transform from a child going to school and living a normal life one day and to a cold, lifeless corpse the next was heart shattering. This part of the text in particular got to me: “Cremated. Something clicked inside Jess’s head. That meant Leslie was gone. Turned to ashes. He would never see her again. Not even dead. Never. How could they? Leslie belong to him. More to him than anyone in the world.”

I joked with Benji after Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH that I was going to violate his rating system. Well, I am doing it this time because this one has bumped Mrs. Frisby to my #2 in terms of favorite Newbery winners. I give Bridge to Terabithia 6 Newbery Pies.

Benji’s Review:

This week, I find myself agreeing with Sara wholeheartedly. This is definitely my favorite up to this point, and it my be my favorite of them all, (Charlotte’s Web is my favorite book, but is it considered Newbery canon being only an honor?) It’s definitely a close race between Ivan and Terabithia.

I’ve read this one several times, and I thought I could make it through this time without crying like a baby, and I ALMOST made it. Not quite though. I got through all of the really sad parts with dry cheeks. I almost cried when Jess hurls the paints and stuff that Leslie gave him into the creek, but I held it in, but then on the very last page, where Jess is taking his sister to Terabithia for the first time, I lost it. I just love that part.

That’s kind of what being a children’s librarian is to me, or at least, that’s the part of it that I love: introducing kids to magical places for the first time, and getting to see the looks on their faces as they each fall in love with their own Terabithia.

I’ll give it six pies too, just because I can’t let Sara outdo me. (How high do our pies even go?

 

M.C. Higgins, the Great: The 1975 Newbery Winner

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Welcome to Newbery Pie. This week, we’re discussing M.C. Higgins, the Great, winner of the ’75 Newbery Medal.

Sara’s Review: Oh my, oh my, where to begin? This book feels impossible to summarize. Every chapter, I felt as if I were trudging up the mountain with the characters and trying to not to fall off it into a reading coma. It still wasn’t as bad as I, Juan de Pareja, which I should have given 1 pie. The Higgins family lives on “Sarah’s mountain,” an important part of the family’s heritage. It is so important that the patriarch of the family, Jones, ignores the dangerous spoil heap left by irresponsible strip miners that threatens collapse on his home. M.C. isn’t as oblivious, and finds hopes for escape in the arrival of “the dude,” who comes around with a  tape recorder to record his mother, Banina’s singing voice. M.C. thinks he will make her a big recording star and the family will leave the mountain. M.C. has a pole in his front yard that he sits on stop of and surveys the land. Two other important characters in the story are Lurhetta Outlaw and Ben Kilburn. One part of the story that I did like was confronting the prejudice of assuming that Ben’s family are witches because they were born with the deformity of having six fingers and toes. The Kilburn family sells ice to the Higgins family and in one scene, Jones acts like M.C. has the plague because he allows one of the Kilburns to touch him. At the conclusion of the story, M.C. stands up to his father about both Ben and the spoil, deciding to build a wall to save their house.

I feel like I am missing something with this story. Not only did it win the Newbery in 1976; it also won the National Book Award in 1975. I would definitely say the book is distinguished in terms of setting and M.C.’s character development (and that of Jones to a certain extent). It was a tough read though. I rewatched Mr. Schu’s and Colby Sharp’s Newbery Challenge videos about the book. Mr. Schu says, “Blah about M.C. Higgins, the Great, and you can quote me on that.” Colby said, “I didn’t like it.”  I didn’t like it either so I’m going to give it 2 out of 5 Newbery Pies.

Benji’s Review: I’m kind of conflicted about this book. I see some good in it, but I really didn’t enjoy reading it, especially the first 50 pages or so.  As an adult novel, it might have been decent, but I think most kids would have some trouble following the Faulkner-like steam of consciousness writing. The only thing that really makes this book a kid’s book is the fact that M.C., our protagonist is a teenager.

 

M.C.’s guide to getting the girl: First stalk her a little while she’s walking by herself through the woods, then jump out and scare the bejezus out of her. Next, climb up on your pole and burn something. Wave it around a lot and make construction-worker-type cat calls at her. Then jump down, and stalk her through the woods again, this time at night. Jump out and scare her again. This time, take your knife out and stab her, just a little.  The next morning, approach her tent, hoping that she’s forgotten all about your nighttime assault with a deadly weapon. Ask her if she wants to go for a swim. Invite her over for lunch. In the end, when she leaves, don’t worry about it too much. You can always have conversations with her in your head.

Jone’s guide to being a good dad: Slap, punch and kick your kid every time you see him. This will make him tough. It’s all in good fun, right? Even when you hurt him. Can’t afford a good birthday/Christmas present? Give him a pole. Poles make great gifts. Pass down your superstitious, ginger- fearing ways to your children. I mean gingers are just WEIRD, right? IGNORE the giant mountain avalanche heap that everyone  says will fall on your house and family one day. For real. Don’t do anything about it. It will take care of itself. When your son finally mans up and decides to build the wall to stop the heap, something you should have done years ago, don’t offer to help. Just go get him a shovel. That’s enough.

I also give the book two out of five Newbery Pies. It still wasn’t as bad as Smoky the Cow Horse or The Dark Frigate, though!

The Slave Dancer: Winner of the 1974 Newbery Medal

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Happy Thanksgiving! Why not sit down and have a big slice of Newbery Pie? This week we’re discussing Paula Fox’s The Slave Dancer.  As usual. Sara will kick things off.

Sara’s Review: 

Young Jessie is a boy living in New Orleans. While out wandering one night, he is kidnapped and taken to be the “Slave Dancer” on a ship that illegally transports slaves from Africa to Cuba. His main job is to play a fife to exercise the slaves on their trip over the Atlantic. This book was disturbing on so many levels. I have the original edition from 1973 in the library. It contains illustrations that are not reprinted in other editions. Many of them make me wonder if I should reconsider having this book in my elementary school library. Then there are graphic descriptions of the violence the captain reigns down on the crew and the slaves. One crew member receives a beating for supposedly stealing the captain’s food. If the slaves appear to be diseased, the captain just chucks them into the ocean. The worst part was a scene near the end where the crew make the slaves dress up in women’s clothes (regardless of gender) and then treat them as “guests.”

Paula Fox is an excellent writer, but the story dragged in several places. I was all set to give this book two pies until I read the justice she meters out for the captain and other members of the crew. They are stuck in a storm and the ship sinks, drowning everyone except for Jessie and one slave boy (most of the slaves were chucked over the deck when the crew fears being caught by another American ship) who wash up on the shore of Mississippi. An escaped slave takes Ras in and helps Jessie get home. Benji seems to be able to find hope in books of groups of people being treated horribly (Sounder comes to mind), but I am quite the cynic. This time, I think The Slave Dancer attempts to be hopeful, but I can’t quite buy it. As happy as I am the crew got their just desserts, hundreds of slaves died right along with them; doesn’t seem quite equitable at all. When I have time, I need to research slave ships; I’m thankful that most historical fiction books published today do this legwork for us by providing details of the author’s research in notes at the end of the book.

I give The Slave Dancer 3 out of 5 Newbery Pies.

Benji’s Review:

I agree with most of what Sara said. It is a pretty dismal book, but the writing for the most part is very good. I found the climax a little lacking, though. An American ship was approaching the slaver ship, and it seemed that justice was coming. Instead, a big convenient storm came and wiped everyone except for Jessie and Ras. It was almost like the author didn’t really know how to tie things up, so she just destroyed everything with a big storm.

I did like the complexity of the novel, though. As a boy, Jessie is intrigued by the slave markets, and tries to peek in as the slaves are being auctioned off. After his experience on the slave ship, he won’t have anything to do with slavery. He has to move north to get away from it. To me, he really grew as a character.

The relationships on the slave ship, were pretty complex, too. Jessie found himself liking some of the slavers more than others. His best buddy ended up being the same guy who stuffed him in a sack and  forced him to work on the slave ship, and the guy who was kindest to him (I got the feeling that his  kindness had some other, very creepy motives) ended up being his enemy. Jessie found himself feeling compassion towards the slaves and being repulsed by the at the same time. He definitely wasn’t a perfect character without any flaws, and I appreciated that. I found him to be likable and very believable.

All in all, it was a pretty good book. Like Sara, I found myself questioning whether or not I should keep it in my elementary library. I think the 5th graders can handle it, but I don’t know about younger students.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 Newbery Pies.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie of the Wolves: The 1973 Newbery Winner

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Hi! Welcome back to Newbery Pie. This week, we’re discussing Julie of the Wolves which won the 1973 Newbery medal. We’ll start things with Sara’s review.

Julie of the Wolves is divided into three parts. In the first part, we find Julie (Miyax), lost and starving in the Alaskan tundra. On her way to San Francisco to visit (live with?) her pen pal, she has run out of provisions, and must turn to a pack of wolves for help. Fortunately, Julie grew up living on the land and is able to survive until the wolves accept her into their pack. This part of the book just about put me into a coma. It was a slow start to say the very least.

Luckily, the story picks up in part II. In this section, George flashes back to the events that led up to Julie running away. We learn about her father, Kapugen leaving her so she can attend school, Julie’s marriage at thirteen, and then her flight after her husband attempts to consummate their marriage. I found myself enjoying the story and sympathizing with Julie, especially when she finds out her father dies seal hunting.

In the final part of the book, Miyax is back with the wolves. She learns the realities of life in the wolf pack, including what happens to a wolf who becomes an outsider, and the harsh reality of a confrontation with the wolves’ enemy – humans. This book could have ended like Hatchet or Island of the Blue Dolphins with a child character surviving the elements and learning how to adapt to life in the wild. I admit, I would have enjoyed the story much  better had it ended that way, but George goes a different route. Julie meets two humans and finds out that Kapugen is alive. What should be the happiest moment of her life turns to be the opposite when she find out that he has turned his back on the Eskimo way of life, marrying a white woman and living in a modern house. Worst of all, she concludes that he is responsible for killing her wolf father, Amaroq. After discussions with Benji, I think maybe that George uses this new Kapugen story as a vehicle for the sequels she wrote about Julie, but to me it didn’t seem fitting based on how he was presented earlier in the book. I guess a child’s idealism of their parent has to end at some point, and that could be what George was trying to depict, but it definitely put a damper on the book for me as a reader.

I give it 3 out of 5 Newbery pies.

Benji’s Review

I first read this book 3 years ago, and loved it. I loved the Hatchet-like survival story, I loved the Eskimo culture, and I even appreciated the ending which I thought was pretty realistic as Eskimo culture was becoming Americanized back in the 70’s. One scene, though put me off this time. I remember reading it last time, though, but I didn’t take time to process the message that was being conveyed. I guess that’s why we reread books,

The scene I’m referring to is when Julie sees her reflection for the first time after living in the wilderness for months and nearly starving. Her face is thinner and less round, and she’s pleased because she thinks that she looks more like a white girl. This set off all kinds of alarms with me this time around. Was George saying that Eskimo girls all want to look like white girls, and that they should starve themselves to get there? That may have been an overreaction, and maybe I was hearing things that George wasn’t saying, but that’s what was going through my head at the time. After finishing the book, I think that maybe George was noticing and commenting on the decline of Eskimo culture. Possibly, she was lamenting it in this scene, and definitely at the end. It would have been an easy scene to take out, there’s really no reason for it being there, except to make a statement about something, and I think that’s what George was doing.

Unlike Sara, I liked part one very much. I was fascinated by the wolves and how Julie learned to communicate with them, and even get food from them. It did move a little slowly at times, but I guess it”s like having a scene in a book with a loaded pistol that is never used. It’s tough to have a fast-paced novel with wild wolves that never attack, at least not until Jello does in part three.

Honestly, I didn’t mind the ending. I thought it was powerful. Julie has this man who she idolizes and has up on a pedestal. We see that he might not have been as good of a man as Julia thinks, (one of Julia’s relatives tells her that her dad didn’t ever do anything good again after her mother died, and we find out later that he was best friends with an alcoholic bum, another man Julia admired AND he never once tried to contact Julia or keep up with what was happening in her life, until she ran away. He just gave her a way out of life with her aunt by having her become engaged to a guy he didn’t know with some serious mental health issues who later tries to rape her) but Julia doesn’t see all of that. He’s just her dad, a man she respects an admires. When she realizes that he is actually the man she despised for killing the leader of her wolf pack just for fun, she decides to go back into the wild, only to change her mind after her bird dies. She has to face her father, even though she knows what he really is now, and she has to make sense of what is happening to the Eskimo people. Their culture is fading, and their lives are changing. It kind of made me want to read Julie, the sequel. Maybe one day.

I’ll give it four our of five Newbery Pies.

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