I just finished Julie of the Wolves today. BLEAAAAAAAGHHHHHH.
I mean, okay. It could have been worse. It could have been like Call of the Wild, my least favorite book in existence. At least this time, the wolves weren't telling the story.
I talked to my little brother on the phone right after reading it. He really enjoyed my gory stories about cutting open caribou and birds and Miyax eating their insides, but that's because he's a 12 year old boy.
Here's the thing.
My big issue with books is that they can be given medals, praised by all the adults in the world, but if the children the books are written for dislike the book, it has failed as a piece of writing, at least for that particular child. Talking to my little brother, I had mentioned the author's name, and he immediately made a fake-gagging sound, as he had miserably had to read Jean Craighead George's other book, My Side of the Mountain, last school year.
What's the point of introducing these books to kids, if they completely turn them off when it comes to reading??
Isn't it more important that kids read in general, rather than deeply analyzing their books? Because let me tell you, my 12 year old brother refuses to read unless he absolutely has to, and even then he does it grudgingly, and the sole reason for this is because of the books he had to read in school. He was one of the biggest readers I'd ever seen when he was a child, and that love of books completely disappeared once books became tools for analysis. Heck, the same thing happened to me on a much lower scale, except I persevered and kept reading for the sake of reading. It completely breaks me, a self-proclaimed bookaholic, seeing my amazing little brother dislike reading.
What purpose do books like this serve, if that is what they can do to kids?
I just...ughhh. I swear to God, I know I'm not going to be teaching at a higher grade, but if I ever do end up teaching upper elementary school kids rather than just the younger ones, I will never subject them to reading such stupid pieces of literature. My kids are going to be reading and analyzing Harry Potter, and if they don't like it, I swear, I WILL find something they like. Reading has gotten me this far in life, and I am not going to watch kids fall out of their love of reading because of school, a place that's supposed to promote a love of reading!
I realize this is a repetitive, horribly written entry, but reading nonsense like Julie of the Wolves obviously makes me really incoherently passionate about reading material for children. There are much better alternative books that get the same point across in a way that children actually understand and like.
I won't say I disliked all of the book. I really liked the 2nd portion of it, which zoomed back to Miyax's life prior to her escape to live with the wolves. That was interesting. The book would have been a lot better to me if that had been the focus of the majority of the novel, the climax being her escape, and then, very quickly, being found and brought back to her father. I mean, really, did 2/3 of the novel add anything to the plot? I really don't think so.