Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mini-Review: Wolf Brother

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver. (Grades 5-8)

I was absolutely delighted to see this book on the 2009 Caudill list because I love, love, love this series. You have to understand. I'm not a series person. I'm not even much of a sequel person. And yet... I love this series.

I read the first book during grad school and it was before I started writing little reviews of everything. So in lieu of a review, I'll share with you the booktalk I wrote when I presented this title to a 3rd-5th grade gifted reading class last spring:

Torak is alone. Before, he’d has his father, but now his father has been killed by a massive bear, the likes of which Torak had never seen. On his deathbed Torak’s father tells him that the bear has been possessed by an evil spirit, one that will continue to grow unless it is stopped. The fate of all the clans in the forest rest on stopping this evil spirit. And now it is Torak’s responsibility to stop it. Torak is to find the Mountain of the World Spirit, a mythical place that no one has ever found before. Torak’s father makes him swear that he will find it, he tells him that a guide will help him. Then Torak’s father dies and Torak is alone.

Wolf is also alone. He’s just a cub and his family has been killed by the Fast Wet. When Torak comes along, Wolf think he smells like one of his pack and the two have an instant bond. They stick together for company and safety. As they spend more time together, Torak begins to learn the wolf language and he starts to think that maybe this was the guide his father foretold.

Together, Torak and Wolf will try to find the Mountain of the World Spirit. They will try to stop the evil that is coming. But what Torak doesn’t stop to think about is how his father knew about the evil spirits. And why didn’t Torak and his father travel with a clan? Why did his father avoid other humans? Torak will have to find the answers to these questions- and manage to stay alive- in order to save the clans from the evil that is growing stronger every day. It’s more than a simple boy and his wolf can do… or is it?

An action-packed adventure story set in prehistoric times. If you like survival stories like My Side of the Mountain and Hatchet, with some fast-paced action thrown in, give this one a try.


Wolf Brother is the first book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. The series goes as follows:

1. Wolf Brother
2. Spirit Walker
3. Soul Eater
4. Outcast (coming this May! I'm so excited!!!)