The Wolf Keepers
by Elise Broach
published by: Henry Holt & Co.
date: October 2016
Twelve-year-old Lizzie Durango and her dad have always had a zoo to call their home. Lizzie spends her days watching the animals and taking note of their various behaviors. Though the zoo makes for a unique home, it's a hard place for Lizzie to make lasting friends. But all this changes one afternoon when she finds Tyler Briggs, a runaway who has secretly made the zoo his makeshift home. The two become friends and, just as quickly, stumble into a covert investigation involving the zoo wolves who are suddenly dying. Little do they know, this mystery will draw them into a high-stakes historical adventure involving the legend of John Muir as they try to navigate safely while lost in Yosemite National Park.
I enjoyed this book very much. So many topics that could be discussed with the use of this book. It would make a great book club book! First of all, what a great example of authentic writing in a journal which is a big part of the story. Wow, living at the zoo, that will draw student readers in right away! I love the insight we gain from the zoo setting. Students will also enjoy the wolves which are an animal frequently asked for at the library. I like the historical aspect of John Muir and Yosemite National Park. There are family dynamics and friendships that could be discussed. Is it ever ok to keep a secret? It seems that there are several secrets here that would lead to thoughtful discussions. The con to this book is that my adult brain had to work hard to suspend belief over and over. From the point that they took the 4 mile hike to Tenaya Creek and on, I couldn't find anything believable. Having said that, I did have watery eyes in the end, and I would highly recommend this book to students.
I want to thank NetGalley, Henry Holt & Co., and Elise Broach for an electronic version of this book for preview.