Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me
Viking, May 13 2010, $17.99
Although only sixteen years old, KJ Carson has incredible wilderness skills due to personal experiences with her single parent, a wilderness guide. She can fish and hike in the wilds with the best. The teen uses her talent to guide tourists around Yellowstone National Park.
Young city slicker Virgil and her mom arrive in West End, Montana where KJ has lived all her life. The newcomers persuade KJ to write about the endangered wolves living in the nearby park. KJ and Virgil write articles for the school newspaper about the wolves in the wild that split the less than 1000 townsfolk into divided camps: those who have lost livestock to wolves and want them hunted as deadly predators and those who believe they are critical parts of the ecosystem.
This is an interesting middle school drama that encourages (at times with a sledgehammer) people especially the young to adhere to your values and not let anyone bully you into doing something you feel is wrong or even leaves you uncomfortable. KJ is a fascinating lead character as she is refreshingly surly and brooding more often than not. Readers will relish the morose one as she takes a stand to protect the wolf population while also learning that boys like Virgil are more dangerous to her health than wolves