Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me
KJ is a teenage girl who lives alone with her dad in a part of Yellowstone that has been reintroduced to wolves. This is causing a lot of contention around town between the farmers and people who think that the wolves belong and should be allowed to stay. KJ has always just kind of kept to herself until a new boy, Virgil, comes into town. His mom is there to study the wolves and something about Virgil makes KJ want to stand up and voice her own opinion for a change. She started out by just writing about the wolves in her school newspaper because it was something that Virgil was interested in but then she started to form her own thoughts and ideas about the animals. This causes conflict with her dad and others in the town, but KJ is determined to be heard.
The town debates get hotter and hotter as the wolves continue to cause trouble by killing livestock, and soon, violence erupts. Can KJ, with the help of Virgil and his mom, find a solution to the problem that will make everyone happy? This book raises real issues and debates that are going on now. I’ve always loved wolves, and I didn’t even know that there was conflict going on about their reintroduction into Yellowstone until I read this book. Then, less that a week after I finished it, I saw a post on Facebook about the very issues presented in this book. It made me interested because I actually knew what it as talking about where I wouldn’t have just a couple weeks before.
This was an interesting book to read and one that was actually full of useful information regarding this conflict. I thought that Chandler did well to present both sides of the argument, and I could definitely empathize with each side. At the beginning of each chapter, there was some sort of little side note that made the book fun; a short fact about wolves, a little joke, or something else was always there to surprise me. That part of the book almost reminded me of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Overall, I think it is a good book. It is a book that takes a while to really get into and start caring about the characters, but once you do, by the end, you’ll really enjoy it. Also, it is an appropriate book for any age range, and one that I think everyone would enjoy reading.