Julie of the Wolves meets Hatchet in this middle grade novel that follows orphaned twelve-year-old Nika and her seven-year-old brother Randall as they leave a California foster home to visit a long-lost uncle in the wilderness lake country of Northern Minnesota. A phone call from their uncle sets them on a journey in a small floatplane over the thick green forest canopy, to spend the summer on a wilderness island. Nika, of all people, knows not to get her heart set on anything, but as she follows her uncle in his job studying wolves, Nika stumbles upon a relationship with an orphaned wolf pup that makes her feel — for the first time since her mother died — whole again. Here in these woods, with this wolf, none of the hard things in her past can reach her.
With vivid details about wolf behavior and a deep sense of interconnectedness with nature, this captivating first novel illuminates the intricacies of family while searching for the fine balance between caring for wild animals and leaving them alone.