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—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 a next meal. The wolf hates being dependent on a mere bird, but Merla is a bird wise beyond her years.
And when thirteen-year-old Casey crosses their path, two very different approaches to hunting collide.
Part survival story and part coming-of-age tale, Avi's (Catch You Later, Traitor) novel is told from the alternating points of view of two hunters: Nashoba, an aging wolf, and Casey, a 13-year-old country boy. Despite a leg injury and growing physical weakness, Nashoba is determined to find food for his pack during the "starving time" in early spring. His desperation drives him into dangerous territory, close to where humans reside. Meanwhile, a short distance away, eighth-grader Casey has just received his first archery set and looks forward to the thrill of hunting, which he has only experienced vicariously through computer games. One snowy day Casey ventures out with his bow and arrows in hopes of finding a target. Nashoba, spurred by need, and Casey, seeking adventure, unknowingly inch closer toward each other. The book's short chapters and steadily rising suspense will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. More seasoned readers will appreciate the story's different levels of meaning and subtle themes beyond the central man-versus-nature conflict. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12. Author's agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman.