Book Review – The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Happy Monday! Hope you were all able to enjoy your weekend. I took a three days off from work for some down time. Well, I did get some down time, but it seemed to be a weekend to catch up on home things. Errands on Friday, some spring house cleaning on Saturday and some home projects on Sunday.

With all of the things I got done, one big accomplishment happened on Sunday evening, the paperback version of The Hard Way was published on CreateSpace. It should be available on Amazon.com later this week. So excited! Now, with both versions available, I’ll start learning what it takes to get the word out and get working on marketing.

In the meantime, while I was looking at the bookcase with the boys books in it again,  The Call of the Wild was calling to me. I remember reading this book in middle school. Ok, so it has been awhile. The version we have for the boys and the one I read was an adapted version of the story, so I didn’t have all of the story development as London originally wrote it.

 

The Call of the Wild

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

The Call of the Wild

Author

Jack London

Type of Book

Adventure Fiction. The adapted version I read could be understood and enjoyed by a middle grade reader. The full version may be more suitable for a young adult reader.

Background

According to Wikipedia, this book was written by London in 1903. He drew from his experiences in the Alaskan Gold Rush in 1897. It was first published in installments in the Saturday Evening Post and London was paid $750. Then McMillan bought the rights to the story later that same year and published it in book form. London was paid $2000 from them.

Summary of the story

The story is set in the late 1800s when many men where making their way to Alaska for the Klondike gold rush. Many larger size dogs were needed to pull the sleds to bring the men and gear to hopefully find their riches. They needed bigger dogs to pull the sleds. There were men who would kidnap domesticated dogs and sell them into serving as sled dogs. Buck was one of those dogs. And this story is about his adventure in the Klondike.

Reactions to the book

I did enjoy this version of the book. My heart was pulled by the treatment of the dogs that were pulling the sleds. But, put into the time and place, it was the reality of the situation.

I would recommend this adventure novel to any middle grade reader. I would stick to the adapted form for this age group. They still get the main points of the story, but don’t get all of the details of the brutal things that happened to the dogs. It was a violent time and place. I think the adapted version still depicts that in a much lighter light. More appropriate for a sensitive reader.

If you are interested in learning more about the author, here is a link to his website Jack London. If you are looking to pick up a copy of the adapted version of the book, here is a link to it on Amazon.com The Call of the Wild or through the Scholastic Store The Call of the Wild – Scholastic Store.

I have reserved The Sea-wolf from our local library. It is another popular story London wrote after The Call of the Wild. Since I haven’t read this one yet, I think I’ll read an unadapted version.

Writing and Walking the Dog

Happy Monday!

I’ve noticed that whenever I take our dog Maddie for a walk, it seems to be a different experience every time, even when we are taking the same route.

Dogs can definitely be creatures of habit. Stopping by the same trees or bushes sniffing for those perfect scents. Or, they can have their attention caught by something new and start leading you down a different path than you normally go, if you let them. Even though Maddie and I have three standard routes we take for walks from our house, sometimes I’ll take a different turn to check out something new. Or, I notice the path is pretty icy and we need to take a different way.

I’ve read that dogs have some of the same life patterns as wolves. They wake up, need to hunt (walk), eat, and then sleep and the cycle starts over again. Through Maddie, I have seen this to be quite true. Add in some of the human elements, like playing with toys, riding in the car, shopping at the pet stores, and hanging out with us, and we have created the life of a domesticated dog.

When I moved out of my parents house and into a place where I could have a dog, I was excited. Not only because I wanted one since I was a little girl, but I would have another reason to get out of the house and enjoy the outside world. I was lucky to find a dog who loves to be outside. It benefits us both. She gets to explore the outside world and I get to see things I wouldn’t normally see and she has sniffed out. And the best part for me, I get share being outside with one of my best friends!

It is nice that we get a couple of these adventures on a daily basis. Our walks give me the quiet time I sometimes need to clear my mind and work through some writer’s block. Do you think Maddie knows when I am having a tough time with my writing and need to make time for a walk? Sometimes I think she does. At other times, when I am in a writing groove and things are going great, and she needs to go outside, I think it is more about her needing some attention from me.

We had temperatures of fifty and sixty this past weekend. For those of us in Minnesota this is definitely not a normal thing for February. It is making me look forward to spring when the weather is nicer for our walks. It is still a ways off, but this weekend helped to perk my winter blahs mood up just a bit.

D is for Dog

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One of the most loyal partners a person will have in their lives. Our dog is no exception. She has been with us for eleven and a half years. I brought her home when she was six weeks old just after Thanksgiving in 2003. They say it isn’t the best idea to bring a pet into the house over the holidays. It was hard, but I would do it all  again to wind up with her. We spent a lot of time together in the beginning which is what I think helped her to become the sweet dog she is today.

Loyality is an adjective frequently used to describe dogs. They are found laying in beds with their dying owners, staying by their side until the end. They also protect people by putting their lives on the line for them. For being just an animal, they seem to have a lot of intuition about things and the people around them.

When she focuses her sight on me, I see the adoration in her eyes. Sometimes I feel bad that I may not give her as much as she gives to me. I’m amazed at how much unconditional love they have to offer.

After they give their hearts and souls to us, we must help them when it becomes time for them to go. As heart wrenching as it is for us to do, it is in their best interest. We enter into that agreement when we first take them home and into our hearts. I’m having a hard time imagining that time for us now, but I’m grateful for what she gives me everyday.