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Review: The Call of the Wild

May 27, 2016

The Call of the Wild

When I was growing up, my dad would talk about books he’d loved as a child.  He’d always talk about authors like Zane Grey and Jack London and, invariably, The Call of the Wild would be mentioned.  For some reason, I was never all that interested in reading the book and then the audio version showed up in my mailbox.  It sort of felt like karma so I dug in.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London is the story of Buck, a dog who is stolen from the family farm he lived on and sold as a working dog to Alaskan gold miners.  It’s a rough life but Buck adjusts.  He’s passed from owner to owner until he is rescued by John Thornton.  The two have a good life together and when his master dies, Buck answers ‘the call of the wild.”

This book is fast paced and full of action and adventure and I could certainly see the appeal of it for a young boy growing up in the 1920s.  I enjoyed the story and am glad I read it but did find some of the language awkward by today’s standards.  There are a few scenes that are a little graphic and gentle young readers might find them disturbing.  Having said that, I would recommend this to older middle grade readers who like the outdoors and action/adventure books.

Jeff Daniels does an outstanding job narrating The Call of the Wild and, at a little over three hours,  I think the audio would be great for a family car trip.  You can hear a sample here.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
19 Comments leave one →
  1. Lloyd Russell permalink
    May 27, 2016 4:10 am

    What time is it? Aren’t you in the Midwest?

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. May 27, 2016 5:46 am

    I read this during my school days, and enjoyed it a lot. I’ve always loved stories about animals.

  3. May 27, 2016 7:16 am

    OMG, I can’t even see the title without tearing up. Of course, it has been forever since I read it, but I seem to remember it was in the same category as Bambi and Old Yeller!

  4. May 27, 2016 8:12 am

    Not sure why, but this book never appealed to me as a kid either. Maybe I’ll give the audio a try one of these days.

  5. Jeane permalink
    May 27, 2016 8:29 am

    This was one of my childhood favorites, too. Although re-reading it as an adult, right after some nonfiction books about sled dogs, made me a lot more critical of the story! But I still liked it the third, fourth, fifth time around.

  6. May 27, 2016 8:33 am

    I read it a long time ago so I’m tempted to try the audiobook for a reread.

  7. May 27, 2016 9:32 am

    I haven’t read this book since I was in school. I think there’s a movie too. I will have to read this again.

  8. May 27, 2016 10:25 am

    I read this in ’14 and loved it! Your post makes me want to re-read it.

  9. Patty permalink
    May 27, 2016 11:00 am

    It sounds perfect for a car trip.

  10. May 27, 2016 11:20 am

    I had to read this in school. Which is probably why I hated it. All it reminds me of is COLD SNOW and COLD WIND and no thank you.

  11. May 27, 2016 11:23 am

    I remember reading this way back when….and also those Zane Grey books seemed to fascinate me when I was a pre-adolescent. “Riders of the Purple Sage” strikes me as one of the titles. lol.

    Thanks for sharing…and for the trip down memory lane.

  12. May 27, 2016 11:57 am

    I’ve had this book on my shelf for years (along with White Fang) and really need to read both of them. My littles are still too young to appreciate audio in the car, but I’ll definitely add it to the future list!

  13. May 27, 2016 6:30 pm

    Kathy, I’m glad you enjoyed this as an audio book. I read it many years ago, and am overdue for a reread (or a listen). Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. bookingmama permalink
    May 28, 2016 8:25 am

    Can you believe I’ve never read this???

  15. May 28, 2016 9:44 am

    I know my nephew would love this! Thanks for sharing. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of it before! Jeff Daniels would be a great reader for this type of book.

  16. The Cue Card permalink
    May 28, 2016 7:07 pm

    Wow Jeff Daniels narrates it. That’s great. Animal stories are a bit hard on the heart. This story reminds me of Black Beauty too.

  17. Ryan permalink
    May 29, 2016 9:55 pm

    I absolutely love this book, but the last time I read it was preblogging days. I may have to dust this one off sometime soon.

  18. May 30, 2016 9:21 am

    I read this in school and loved it. We had a great male English teacher who brought the story alive for us.

  19. June 14, 2016 8:12 pm

    This is one of my favorites and I read it as an adult 🙂

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