#988 – Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West by Emma Bland Smith and Robin James

journey-cover Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West
Written by Emma Bland Smith
Illustrated by Robin James
Little Bigfoot  10/11/2016
978-1-63217-065-1
32 pages  Ages 5—9

.
“Journey is inspired by the true story of a gray wolf named OR7 (the seventh radio-collared wolf in Oregon), who made a nearly 2,000-mile, three-year trek from where he was born in Northeastern Oregon to Northern California, becoming the first wild wolf in that state since 1924.

“As the wolf’s fascinating journey is captured in the media, a young girl follows along, enthralled with his story. The more she learns about wolves and their relationship with humans, the more determined she is to find a way to help keep this special wolf safe so that he becomes a wolf who’s too famous to harm.” [PRESS RELEASE]

Review
Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West is a fictionalized account of the true adventures of a lone wolf originating from Northeastern Oregon. He set out from his pack-of-origin to forge a life and a pack of his own. Journey traveled for three years before finding another wolf, fortuitously female and compatible. Together, they began repopulating Northern California’s suitable woodlands. It had been nearly 90 years (1924), since wolves lived in Northern California.
scene1Journey’s trek, as told by the gray canis lupus and a young girl named Abby, is an inspiring story of self-actualization (Journey) and an equally, though fictional, story of empathy and conservation (Abby). Abby first reads of OR7 while at a diner with her father. Intrigued by the wolf’s story, Abby begins following his trek, marking his trail on her map, and worrying about his safety. Facts and events about Journey’s trek help Abby tell her tale and give her story historical significance.
scene3On every other spread, readers are treated to Journey’s point of view (though the author did a terrific job of writing Journey without anthropomorphizing his voice). We see what Journey sees and learn of what he smells. Readers become privy to what drives Journey to continue, even when very alone for three years. Wolves have great noses, so readers know when threats, such as humans, surface or have been in the area. Some humans, such as Abby, welcome Journey to Northern California and follow his trek with anticipation. Journey could not know many welcome him, but does understand humans will harm him; something Abby also understands and frets about most nights.

In addition to the beautiful writing (Emma Bland Smith’s debut children’s book), the gorgeous illustrations place readers next to Journey as he travels and next to Abby as she follows and tries to think of ways to keep him safe. Journey’s emotions reflect from his body perfectly. Even young children will understand Journey has mixed feelings when leaving his parents to begin his own life. In one spread (below), Journey has the smile many dog owners often see, and it is beautiful. The magnificent blues and greens of the forests and woodlands Journey transverses contrast perfectly with the divided spreads illuminating Abby’s voice.
scene2Anyone interested in nature, specifically wild animals will love Journey. Those who live in Oregon or California, especially those who followed Journey’s 2,000-mile trek, will understand both points of view. Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West should become a big seller in those two states.

Journey is a picture book for older children. Younger children may need listening skills they have yet to develop in order to sit through the longer than usual picture book word count, yet the illustrations will help them digest and appreciate this marvelous story of determination, self-actualization, empathy, and sheer resolve in nature’s ability to survive. Children will be able to relate to Abby’s story, possibly even seeing themselves in Journey’s story through her voice.

usfws-or7

OR7 aka Journey and his pups (top)

Back matter includes the real Journey’s story, a timeline, resources for additional reading, and discussion questions and activities for teachers and homeschoolers. Below is a link to the teacher’s guide. FYI – California protects returning wolves under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

JOURNEY: BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF OR7, THE MOST FAMOUS WOLF IN THE WEST. Text copyright © 2016 by Emma Bland Smith. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Robin James. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Little Bigfoot, Seattle, WA.

AmazonIndie BooksLittle Bigfoot

Add Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.
Teacher’s Guide is HERE.

.
Reprinted with permission from JOURNEY: BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF OR7, THE MOST FAMOUS WOLF IN THE WEST © 2016 by Emma Bland Smith, Little Bigfoot, an imprint of Sasquatch Books, Illustrations © 2016 by Robin James.

movie-poster-or7-the-journey.

FYI – Watch the Documetary
The Journey: The Epic Journey of a Lone Wolf from Oregon to California
Can be viewed online (cost $5) [not affiliate link]

.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.
Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West
Written by Emma Bland Smith
Illustrated by Robin James
Little Bigfoot 10/11/2016
9781632170651

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “#988 – Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West by Emma Bland Smith and Robin James

Thanks for Your Likes & Comments!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s