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Compass Book Ratings

Publisher's Note:  

Hunting—the predator and its prey—is at the heart of this riveting and suspenseful novel from Newbery Medalist Avi with illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Brian Floca.

In the computer game world of Bow Hunter—thirteen-year-old Casey’s world—there are no deaths, just kills. In Nashoba’s world—the wolf world—there have been no kills. For this is March, the Starving Time in the Iron Mountain region of Colorado, when wolves and ravens alike are desperate for food.

With the help of a raven, the miraculous Merla, Nashoba must lead his pack of eight to their next meal. The wolf hates being dependent on a mere bird, but Merla is a bird wise beyond her years.

When Casey’s path crosses Nashoba’s, the worlds of two very different hunters collide.

Old Wolf

by Avi

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Overall Review:  

Author Avi once again collaborates with illustrator Brian Floca in this brief middle grade novel.  This story alternates viewpoints between a desperate, aging wolf and a boy who has just received a bow and arrow for his thirteenth birthday.  It is a simple story, but the hook in the narrative is that it is not clear until the last few pages how things are going to shake out.  This keeps the reader anxiously reading--and hoping for a miracle which may or may not come.

This novella would especially appeal to reluctant readers (because of its short length and beautiful pencil illustrations), boys (because of the human protagonist), and fans of books like Hatchett (because of the themes).

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations.

Violence/Gore:  Animals hunt; two animals fight resulting in injury; boy plays hunting computer game in which animals are killed (non-graphic); animal kicks another animal resulting in injury; human kills an animal; animal bites a human.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of animals, hunting, aging, laws of nature.

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Reviewed By Cindy
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