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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The plight of the grey wolf, and for many wildlife creatures, has been a struggle for survival, its biggest enemy is humans. But even amongst wolves, there is a hierarchy that plays a role, much like humans. Also, like humans, wolves and other wildlife judge others in their pack: are they visibly different, is their fur or eyes a different color, are they weaker than the rest? It would appear that there are prejudices amongst all living creatures. These issues come into play when Mira, a grey wolf, gives birth to four cubs: two which have a visible anomaly which sets them apart and causes friction amongst the pack. A confrontation leaves one injured and abandoned, until a young boy, Edmund, finds him and takes him home to heal. A special bond develops between the young boy and the wolf he calls GoldenEars and the two learn from one another, hopefully to the benefit of both humans and wolves.
Jane H. Wood’s novel, GoldenEars: The Whispering Mountain #1, is a classic tale of a special bond that exists between some humans and their animal companions. This story follows a growing bond between a young boy and a grey wolf. Told with great detail in scene and character description, as well as invested knowledge of the plight of wolves and other wildlife, the plot follows first the wolf pack and then the boy and his adopted wolf friend, GoldenEars. Like the passionate writing of Canadian authors like Farley Mowat (Never Cry Wolf), the author presents a compelling tale of the rugged life in Canada’s Far North. It’s all about survival and the battles fought are not always against the elements, but against the human intruders.
Whilst the first part of the story details the existing conflicts between man and grey wolf, this develops into an understanding that coexistence can be beneficial to both, as the bond between a young boy and a young wolf prove their worth as ambassadors of their own packs. But, living in either the human world or the wolf world is fraught with dangers and controversies as the mindset of generations hesitate to think outside the box, to consider another option so that all kinds of life can survive. This is a beautiful, heartwarming story that will open the minds and hearts of all who read it.