Julie of the Wolves

by Sabrina, Age 12

Do you like beautiful stories that truly capture your heart and make you want to explore the wilderness? Then this is the book for you! Julie, the main character of Jean Craighead George’s novel, Julie of the Wolves, lives on the Alaskan tundra, which inspires her wild imagination and desire for adventure. Julie is raised by her father who teaches her to communicate with animals.

After she believes that her father has died, she enters an arranged marriage, even though she is only thirteen. The marriage is unhappy so she runs away, trying to get to California so she can meet her pen pal, Amy. Unfortunately, Julie gets lost, trudging through the icy snow of the tundra. She meets a wolf pack, who turns out to be friendly once she uses the communication skills her father taught her!

When I was reading this book, I was really struck by the descriptions of the tundra—so terrifying, yet so beautiful. Not only does it serve as a backdrop to Julie’s journey, but it also helped me understand Julie’s character. It captures Julie’s desire for adventure and shows her determination and bravery. The tundra is mostly flat and full of bare trees, so when she looks far away, it seems to her like the tundra is endless. This means that Julie is determined no matter how far away her goal might seem.

Also, though there are many predators around looking for prey, the snow provides many hiding places for them, such as holes and dens. Therefore, it’s harder for the animals to find prey. This is very much like Julie because she works hard and won’t stop until she finds the food she needs to survive.

The tundra also shows that Julie is a dreamer because she sees it as a magical place. She admires the sky reflecting onto the tundra, which causes many beautiful colours and shapes to form over the snow. For example, she sees it “glistening gold” or with “a feathering of snow.” Once she imagines how “every wind-tossed sedge is a silver thread” over the tundra.  These descriptions show Julie’s dreamy personality. So, the tundra is also like a mirror because it reflects Julie and the way she sees the world.

 The tundra helped me enjoy this book because it created all of the adventures that Julie went through.  It also helped me understand her love for the wilderness and for her friends, the wolves. Also, the tundra is basically Julie’s life and is where all the twists in the book occur. Without the tundra, this book would not be as exciting.

I also love this book because it made me feel all kinds of different emotions! When Julie first encountered the wolves, I felt very nervous because I didn’t know if they would hurt her.  But when she starts to bond with them I was very happy and relieved—even the wolf cubs play with her like a normal wolf, as if they don’t know that she is a human.

There are other parts that are extremely sad, like when one of her wolf friends die. Because of the wolves’ kindness and Julie’s determination, the story was really inspiring. It also made me wish I could communicate better with animals, like Julie’s special mastered skill with wolves. It made me want to talk to Daisy, my cat, in order to know what crazy things could be in a little cat’s brain! All in all, this is a very touching book full of beautiful, moving descriptions of challenges, bravery, and love.

To purchase or learn more about the book, visit here.

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The Race

by Jacob, Age 13

It was a Monday at Columbia High—home to the defending state champions in cross country from the year before. The cross country team was doing a timed two-mile for the first practice of the season, and as usual, Brady Henry was the first to finish with a time of 11:34.

“Better than my fastest time last year,” said Brady. “My fastest time last year was the last meet we had, and I ran an 11:43.”

Then Louis chimed in, “I heard that Marcus from Charleston High ran an 11:20. Apparently, he is a lot faster than before. You might have some competition this year.”

“Who cares, I have a lot more potential and can beat him at the meet,” said Brady. Continue reading

Into the Night

moonby Miranda, Age 13

My favourite time, the time is night,
The time of day, comes after light.

Things go quiet, the owls hoot,
The house is dark, to bed I scoot.

I lay in bed, the blankets warm,
My eyes are closed, my dreams now swarm.

My braid is loose, and behind my head,
I dream of stories, from books I’ve read. Continue reading

Me as a Maple Tree

by Brieanne, Age 8

I have a very interesting life. I am a maple tree. Let me tell you all about what happens to me during the four seasons of the year.

In spring I get a little warm, but it’s mostly cold. I get some green leaves and some brown and gold. Birds start to build their nests in me! It tickles!

In the next season called summer, it gets really warm. Hot! My leaves are totally green, not one brown or gold. But little buds grow on my branches, it hurts a little but I’m glad I’m growing! Continue reading

A Wall and a Bridge

“I choose to write “Love is a Wall and a Bridge” because I believe that love is lots of things. Some good and some not so good, and I just wanted to portray that in a poem.” by Peyton, Age 11 Continue reading

Mr Clumsy Big Bear

by Tvisha, Age  10

Mr Big Bear was a clumsy old fellow
Everything slipped out of his hands like jello
Plates, Bowls, Silverware too
All slip out, and everyone knew
Because with a crash and a bash and a smash Continue reading

Fall Fun #64

The leaves are falling in Bloomsbury and Paras and Ruel are waiting for you to spend some time with them in the neighbourhood! In the library, you can read short stories including, “Adventures of Sir Raspberry” by Cooper, Age 12. Plus a spy story called Ruby Rosette written by Arushi, Age 12. Congratulations to these two youth writers! Continue reading

Curtis & the Boy Next Door

boynext_1by Isabella French, Illustrated by Carmen Durand

Chapter 1

It was a beautiful fall morning, eight days into October, and Curtis was turning 10. His mother had planned a party with all his school friends at their place that afternoon. Curtis lived with his mom and dad in a townhouse complex that lied between the outskirts of their small town and its surrounding forest.

Usually it was cooling down this time of year, but that day the sun was shining after a few long rainy days. Even though the air was brisk, Curtis wanted to go outside and do something. He thought it would be fun to go out with Derek for a bike ride before the rest of his friends came for the party.

Derek, Curtis’ best friend, lived right next door. They had almost everything in common, even their size, except Derek was two years older. Derek lived with his mom and was good about helping her out as much as he could. But even so, he was always game for getting out of the house for a little break when she was doing her housework. She’s the kind of mom who likes to put headphones on and sing loudly out of tune while she works! Before the boys left for their ride, she leaned over, rustled Derek’s hair and said, “Have fun boys!” The boys found their shoes then sat on the steps to put them on. Continue reading

Cupcake Catastrophe

by Kendra, Age 12

Eliza Maxwell leaped off the bus and dashed to her house. “I’m home!” she announced, slamming the door behind her and tossing her backpack onto a window-seat.

Eliza’s older brother, Jacob, stepped into the room, his hands greasy. Jacob was studying to be a car mechanic, and practiced on the family van whenever he could. “Hey, Liz!” he called.

Eliza’s younger brother, Sammie, and the family dog, Squash, bounded in together—Squash’s nails clicking on the tile floor. “Hey Liz!” yelled Sammie. Squash barked excitedly. Eliza leaned down to pet him.

“We’re having a class party!” She took off her shoes and flopped down at the kitchen table. “My teacher says we all have to bring something to do or eat, but I can’t think of anything to bring!”

Jacob shrugged. “Well, you could bake those strawberry cupcakes Mom made for your birthday last year.”

Eliza gasped. “That’s perfect! Will you help me?” Continue reading