Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler


Grade 7 Up—Chandler's debut novel is a classic coming-of-age tale set in Montana shortly after wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. KJ Carson, 16, lives with her father, who runs a business as a guide for hunting and fishing parties. While on a hunting trip with him, the teen watches a wolf get torn to pieces by other wolves. Her father tells her not to forget it. He explains, "The minute that wolf backed down it was all over." KJ and the new kid in school, Virgil Whitman, team up to create a column for the school newspaper entitled, "Wolf Notes." He takes the pictures and she writes the articles. The column causes controversy in this small town where the wolves are hated by local ranching families. The more KJ learns about the animals, the more she is fascinated by their fearlessness. Relations with town members turn ugly when Virgil is shot at in the Christmas parade and soon after someone starts a fire at KJ's father's store. Should KJ back down? The author cleverly integrates facts about wolves and their return to Yellowstone through KJ's newspaper column. The plot moves swiftly to a suspenseful finish. Beautifully written and thought-provoking, this well-rounded novel will appeal to girls, some boys, and conservationists of all stripes.—Samantha Larsen Hastings, Riverton Library, UT 

From Booklist

Considering the current trends in teen fiction, one might take a look at the title of this debut novel and mistake it for yet another werewolf saga. Sixteen-year-old KJ Carson lives in a small town outside Yellowstone National Park with her widowed father. A bit of a loner, KJ signs up for a journalism class at her high school, where she meets Virgil. Virgil's mom is a biologist who studies wolves and their packs, and with Virgil's help, KJ decides to write a column about the wolves that have been reintroduced to the park after near extinction. No one, especially KJ, is prepared for the political firestorm that erupts surrounding her column, as the wolf-reintroduction program is hotly debated between ecologists and the ranchers whose sheep and cattle are threatened daily by wolves. Suddenly, KJ and Virgil become targets of violence. There is a lot going on here—romance, politics, father-daughter issues—but it all takes a backseat to the wolves, and teens with a budding interest in conservation and ecology will be the best audience for this book. Grades 6-9. --Kimberly Garnick

SO this is what I thought about the book...

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me. Honestly was the worst book I’ve read this year. I wasn’t crazy about the characters, writing or the plot. I really could not wait until the book ended. Virgil was a wimp. KJ never really got into trouble for anything, and if she did, she could easily escape it. I thought the romance between Virgil and KJ had no substance, I kept on thinking they were twelve years of age not seventeen as they were in the book. And the name Virgil annoyed me 'till no end. The only thing I liked about this book was that KJ could be really funny and sarcastic at times. Thats the only thing that kept me reading this book. IT is ALL about wolves. Yes, WOLVES! This novel seemed to be one long advocacy for wildlife. I mean this book would not quit with it's agenda, My eyes rolling and wondering when the actual storyline was going to start but nope, it was really all about wolves and their sanctuary. My advice to you... would be... NOT to waste your time or money on this book.


My word to the parents, this book was pretty clean... for full content review checkout Parental Book Reviews.

1 comment:

  1. +JMJ+

    LOL! Thanks for the review! I wouldn't mind the wolves as a running metaphor through the story, but a conservation angle that takes over would be too much.


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