Posted by Umm Abdurahman | No Comments yet
The story is about a dog called Buck, who lived a good life in California, but when men discover gold in the Klondike region of Canada, and the need for strong dogs arises, Buck is kidnapped and sent away to the cold and chilly north. Buck learns some tough lessons very early on as he enters upon an inhospitable environment, where he is forced to pull a heavy sled across the ice. Frequently Buck would suffer from hunger, fatigue and physical abuse from the men. Buck is undoubtedly out of his element, but he soon adapts to this new way of life and learns from the other dogs. Buck quickly proves himself as an exceptional breed of dog as he becomes the new leader of the sled team. Although Buck was a domestic dog, over time he feels more inclined to the ways of the wild and ultimately struggles to choose between life with man, or living out in the wild.
After spending several years out in the desert, our family has a love of all things arctic; therefore I really liked the imagery and description of life in the north. Abdurahman loved the depiction of Buck’s first encounter with snow. He was also amused by some of the dogs’ names and would frequently repeat them.
There were a few beneficial lessons I think a child can derive from the book, firstly it teaches them about resilience, perseverance and strong will. Also children learn some useful information about animals and how they survive in the wild, for example I myself did not know that dogs dig a hole in the snow, bury themselves in the hole, and sleep there comfortably as their body heat warms up the small space.
The only thing I think parents might want to consider is that there is some violence and cruelty towards animals throughout the book. Also some of the chapters were longer than in the other books we had read from this series, which meant we finished the book a little too quickly, as we try to read a chapter a night.
My son enjoyed the book, kids often love stories about animals; however I think I would give the book 2 out of five stars. It was interesting but not always captivating for a child. It also did not have the typical happy ending that children are used to.