Today is International Wolf Day – a day set aside to celebrate the important role wolves play in a creating and maintaining a healthy ecosystem and to debunk the many fears and misconceptions people still hold about wolves.
To celebrate the day, From the Mixed-Up Files has put together an International Wolf Day book list, including a book by our own Rosanne Parry. From fantasy to fact-based fiction, there’s sure to be a book for every reader’s taste.
A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry
Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter.
Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.
Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a wolf named OR-7 (or Journey), this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth. This gripping and appealing novel about family, courage, loyalty, and the natural world is for fans of Fred Gipson’s Old Yeller and Katherine Applegate’s Endling.
Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout and a map as well as information about the real wolf who inspired the novel.
Fun Fact: A wolf can eat 20 lbs of meat in 5 minutes. That’s 100 hamburgers!
The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis
Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he cried Wolf. The superstitious villagers believe that the invisible Great White Wolf brings death; if Gauge can see it, then he must be in league with it. So instead of playing with friends in the streets or becoming his grandpapa’s partner in the carpentry shop, Gauge must go into hiding. Then the Wolf comes for the old man, and Gauge is left all alone with a bounty on his head and a Wolf on his heels. When a young feather collector named Roux offers Gauge assistance, the two embark on a quest to clear Gauge’s name. But soon, the two orphans are forced to question everything they have ever believed about their village, about the Wolf, and about death itself. Jessica Vitalis’s debut is a gorgeous, voice-driven literary fantasy about family, fate, and long-held traditions. The Wolf’s Curse will engross readers of The Girl Who Drank the Moon and A Wish in the Dark.
Fun Fact: Wolves can swim close to eight miles at a stretch!
The Wolf of Cape Fen by Juliana Brandt
First Frost has touched Cape Fen, and that means Baron Dire has returned. For as long as anyone can remember, Baron Dire has haunted the town come winter, striking magical bargains and demanding unjust payment in return. The Serling sisters know better than to bargain, lest they find themselves hunted by the Baron’s companion, the Wolf. Then the Wolf attacks Eliza’s sister Winnie. They manage to escape, but they know the Wolf will be back, because the Wolf only attacks those who owe the Baron Dire. Winnie would never bargain, so that must mean that someone has struck a deal with Winnie as the price.
Eliza embarks on a journey to save her sister, but as she untangles the links between Baron Dire, the Wolf, and her family, she discovers a complicated web of bargains that cross all of Cape Fen. If Eliza can learn the truth, she might be able to protect her sister, but the truth behind the bargain could put her own life in danger.
Fun Fact: Wolves howl for many reasons, like to communicate affection to their own pack or to warn away other packs. A wolf’s howl can travel up to ten miles away!
The Boy, The Wolf, and the Stars by Shivaun Plozza
Some say that long ago in the land of Ulv the sky was filled with Stars. Twelve-year-old Bo knows the stories but, like most, thinks the Stars and the wolf who ate them are just myths, and that no bedtime story can stop the ravenous Shadow Creatures running rampant every night when it turns Dark. Until the day Bo’s guardian, Mads, is attacked by a giant wolf straight from the legends. With his dying breath, Mads tells Bo that a great evil has been awakened, giving the Shadow Creatures unprecedented power, and the only way to stop it from spreading is to return the Stars to the sky.
And so Bo—accompanied by his best friend, a fox called Nix; a girl named Selene with surprising magical abilities; and Tam, a bird-woman who has vowed to protect Bo at all costs—sets off on a quest to find the three magic keys that will release the Stars. But they’re not the only ones after the Stars and the friends soon find themselves fleeing angry villagers, greedy merchants, and a vengeful wolf. And all the while, an evil witch lurks in the shadows.
Fun fact: Wolves have 42 teeth! That’s 10 more than an adult human.
A Wolf for a Spell by Karah Sutton
The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar.
Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga.
Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!
Meanwhile, a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking the witch’s help, and when she meets Zima (in Baba Yaga’s form), they discover that they face a common enemy. With danger closing in, Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that threatens them all.
Fun fact: Wolf pups are born with blue eyes, which then shift to green as they age and finally become their adult color such as orange or yellow. Adult wolves do not have blue eyes.
Click on the link to learn more about International Wolf Day, the roles wolves play in a healthy ecosystem, and how you can help support their survival. And, let us know which of the books in our list strike your fancy.