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The Call of the Wild    by Jack London order for
Call of the Wild
by Jack London
Order:  USA  Can
Scholastic, 2001
Paperback, Audio, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Jack London's experiences in the Far North led to the writing of The Call of the Wild, a classic whose pages have not dimmed with time, though its author died in 1916. Buck, a St. Bernard and Shepherd mix, has a good early life as a working pet on a ranch. But men who want to work the newly discovered gold fields in Alaska need dogs like Buck to pull their sleds.

The Call of the Wild is Buck's story. Kidnapped and sold in the north to a new life - one of hardship, beatings and brutal treatment - Buck has to make drastic adjustments. The reader can almost experience the cold, the deprivation, and the joyous exuberance that Buck feels as he hauls sleds from one part of Alaska to another. And soon Buck begins to feel the pull of the wild - going back in his forbears' distant memory to the times of the caveman. Is dog ever really domesticated?

I hate to admit that this is the first time I read the book. When I happened upon a copy, I decided to right that oversight. I ran with Buck through the frozen North and enjoyed every page. I shall now pass the book along, with an enthusiastic recommendation, to my twelve year-old grandson.

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