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DeFelice, Cynthia.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
IL 3-6, RL 6.5
ISBN 0374380015

(2 booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Twelve year old Erik has just passed his hunter safety course! He is finally old enough to get his New York State hunting license. Erik is going hunting with his best friend Patrick, Patrick’s dad and their hunting dog.

That is until his parents get word of their six month deployment to Iraq.
His parents announce he will be sent to live with the grandparents he doesn’t even know. Worse still, they live in North Dakota. Unable to convince his parents to let him stay with his best friend, Erik reluctantly packs his bags.
Upon his arrival, mystery engulfs him. Why is his grandfather so mean? His grandmother so meek? What’s with the locked room at the top of the stairs?
Why does his grandfather react so adamantly when Erik rescues a wounded hunting dog? It’s all too much for Patrick. Discover what happens when Patrick heads out into the wilderness with his rescued dog. Can he survive in the wilderness? Will the secrets of the locked room be revealed? (Booktalk written by Catherine Ryan- GSF committee/ New England College)

Booktalk #2

Here in Louisiana, your first hunt is a big deal to many of the boys growing up.  It’s exciting and important to so many.  The same can be said for Erik in Wild Life.  He finally earned his hunting license in New York and already had plans for his first hunt that weekend with his best friend.  His plans are cut short though when both of his parents are called into duty by the Army Reserve.  This means that Erik must stay with his grandparents, Oma and Big Darrell, in North Dakota.  This wouldn’t be so bad except for Big Darrell’s gruffness towards Erik, going so far as to yell at him when Erik mistakenly tries to open an upstairs door he’s not allowed in.  Erik’s breaking point, however, is when Big Darrell refuses to let Erik keep Quill, a dog he rescued, until the owner arrived.  Because he has such an instant bond with the dog, Erik decides to run away with Quill instead of waiting for the owner to get her.  With only a hunting rifle and a dog by his side, can Erik really last in the cold North Dakota wilderness?  (Booktalk by Jennifer Torkkola for 2014 Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice nominee)

SUBJECTS:     Grandparents -- Fiction.
                        Dogs -- Fiction.
                        Runaways -- Fiction.
                        Grief -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Fiction.
                        North Dakota  -- Fiction.

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