Monday, February 7, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Wolf: The Journey Home


** First Line Blogfest entry at bottom of post.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance.

Wolf: The Journey Home
by 'Asta Bowen



Goodreads Blurb:
In this fictionalized account of real events, a female wolf named Marta, along with her young family, sets out on an epic journey to return to their home hunting grounds in Montana after they are mistakenly relocated by a group of naturalists.
Told believably from Marta’s point of view, the story takes the reader deep into a wolf's world, as Marta's determination to protect her pups and find their way home takes her on adventures that are by turns heart warming, perilous, and ultimately tragic.
This is the touching, sometimes heart-wrenching, story of a real-life group of wolves. Ms. Bowen wrote it as fiction, but it is fully based on real events. We have class sets of this novel at my school and it never fails to be a hit. It's a winner with MG and YA readers. 

In 2006 it was nominated as a Teens' Top Ten book and has flown under the radar since then. This is one of those books that has failed to receive the acclaim it deserves. Read it and let me know what you think.


Oops! I almost forgot.... (thanks, Beth Fred, for the reminder)

The First Line Blogfest
Hosted by Brenda Drake



My first line:

I crouched in my favorite box elder tree, fourth branch up from the ground and only one branch over from my sister’s piñata.

Visit Brenda's blog to see the other participants. There are 100!!

Happy Monday!

46 comments:

salarsenッ said...

I love this cover!! Thank you for sharing it!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This looks so sweet, informative, and cool!

Diane said...

Sounds like a nice story.

BTW I linked to your blog today at mine. Have a super week. :O)

Jennie Englund said...

That cover says it ALL!

Am going to snatch up WOLF today for my animal-loving boy!

Carolyn V said...

Wow, it sounds great. I'll have to check it out. =)

Candice said...

Looks like one my little brother would love. Yes, I have a 12-yr-old brother!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I love finding these little gems. It's awesome of you to give some publicity to a great book that's gotten overlooked. Hopefully it won't be any more!

Super first line! Love that you threw in the pinata at the end. Nice and unexpected as you get a very natural image of the child in the tree, and then...the pinata. Nicely done.

vbtremper said...

Regarding first line:
I like the details but would like a little more of the character's voice. I am intrigued and would read on to figure out why the MC's in the tree and what's going on with the pinata.

Good luck!

Margo Kelly said...

Interesting first line! Great visual, but I agree with vbtremper's comment about voice. Maybe use a different word for "sat" to show voice (like, perched, hovered, balanced, etc.). I would imagine the m.c. is gonna cause some trouble - - use words to hint toward that.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I'll be on the look out for this one! Sounds like my kind of book! Thanks!

Heather said...

I'll have to look for that book it sounds really good. I love your opening line! It makes me wonder what he is going to do and why he's up there... I just posted my opening line too. Best of luck!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Sounds like a great book! And I love your first line! Hope you have a great week!!

xoxo, The BooKrushers.

Elaine AM Smith said...

I loved this opening line - oh dear!

If you cut back - short and sweet - it could be:

I clung to the elder branch, one over from my sister’s piñata.

Old Kitty said...

Nice opening line!! I can see your mc amidst the tree and I think she is above the pinata! It makes me wonder what she's up to! (It could be a he of course!!). Take care
x

Shari said...

The book sounds interesting. I love the first line, too!

katehaggard said...

The piñata detail really makes this sentence sing. Great job!

Angela Felsted said...

Wow, that's a lot of participants. And I love that you highlighted a story told from a wolf's perspective. How very creative.

I like your sentence.

The Golden Eagle said...

I love the sound of the book--it's going onto my TBR list! :)

Is something going to happen to that pinata?

Bethany Mattingly said...

I love your first line :) and the book sounds wonderful.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Good post for Monday, pepped me up and I like you first line!

C Scott Morris said...

Shows the setting nicely, but I don't clearly see a conflict. If you mean to use the Pinata for that, make it a bit more clear.

Kelly said...

That sounds like a touching book. And the cover is adorable!

J. L. Jackson said...

Very captivating first line.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks for sharing this , I enjoyed reading.

Yvonne.

Eleni Alexandraki said...

1st line...

I'd take out the part about the fourth branch. It just seems like a little excessive and to remove it would make the sentence "punchier."

Good luck with the contest, though!

Cheree said...

It's a nice first line, but I think it is lacking some punch. There's a lot of detail of where the character is "fourth branch up", "one branch over" that's probably not necessary.

Hope Welsh said...

I liked your first line. You're telling us immediately what's happening--I can almost see the look in his eye thinking of breaking that pinata.

If that's the INTENDED thought--then your line is excellent!

wordwranglernc said...

I like this! It sounds sweet...with a hint of mischief thrown in for good measure. :)

Kathryn said...

Oh I really LIKE IT!! It's got a bit of sassy, "about-to-cause-some-trouble" feel!

kathrynjankowski said...

I like the sense of trouble brewing.
Thanks for sharing!

Ben Langhinrchs said...

Welcome to another participant in MMGM. I posted today as well, writing about Eva Ibbotson, but I am adding a link to yours, as I haven't heard of this, and it sounds wonderful. You have a follower!

Corinne O'Flynn said...

I like this but wonder if the MC is looking at the pinata with destruction or longing? I would like to know the feeling of the croucher at this moment in time.

Good luck!
Corinne

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

Thanks for the review. This sounds like an excellent book for adults as well as kids.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jen said...

I like this line, but I think it'd be better if there was more voice, as others have suggested. Is she plotting something with the piñata?

Jemi Fraser said...

Why don't I have this book in my classroom already! I'll have to fix that!

Valerie Geary said...

I heart wolves! This is definitely going on my list and I will probably cry...won't I?

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I used to have a thing for wolves. Maybe that's why I love husky dogs (not that we have any).

Love your first line. :)

gideon 86 said...

I could be tightened a bit.

In my favorite box elder tree, I crouched on the fourth branch from the ground, just above my sister's piñata.

IMO- The sentence flows smoother this way.

I hope it helps... It sounds interesting. What kind of mischief is she getting herself into?

Michael

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm curious about what is going on in your story...What is your mc about to do???

ali said...

Wow! Thank you for that review - I'm sure my son would love it :)

Trisha said...

I really like your first line - immediately makes me go 'aw, how cute!'

Myne Whitman said...

This puts us in the setting very well. I would wan to read more.

Cleverly Inked said...

Definitely curious about the book. I think the cover is a attention grabber

Richard Levangie said...

Terrific first line. Well done!

Jen Chandler said...

This sounds really good. Reminds me of "The Call of the Wild" which I read for the first time last month. Wonderful story with a unique POV.

Thanks for the recommend!
Jen

Madeleine said...

Intriguing first line. Great stuff! :O)

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