Book – Eye of the Wolf
Author – Daniel Pennac
Year – 1982
Genre – Children’s
Pages – 110
Lent to me by my sister, Jeni.
Originally written in French, Eye of the Wolf is immediately noticeable as the kind of book that is actually ‘read’ in schools. It’s not the kind of thing that a child would pick up themselves, or an interesting five minute diversion for the class before break, but is instead the kind of book around which a term’s work can be based. And as thus is probably why my sister – currently working in a primary school – lent it to me – currently working in a primary school.
The story is effectively two halves. A boy looking into the eyes of a caged wolf sees his story. How he grew up in Alaska with his brothers and with his sister who had golden fur, and through to his capture by hunters and his lifelong mistrust of humans. When that story is done, the wolf sees the boy’s story in his eyes, and how he moved through Africa making friends with animals along the way until their worlds met. Written in a style that kids would enjoy, but making some fundamentally interesting points about the world, you could definitely find weeks worth of projects to base around it.
But therein lies the problem. At times, it starts to feel overly worthy. You are always aware of the message, and pains are made to make sure that it is that that is at the forefront of all you read. I understand that this is a kids book, and you can’t expect children to understand the same level of subtlety that you can find in (some) adult books, but I can only judge it by how I felt about it, and whilst being a solid book – and one with a very definite market – I can’t say that I found it overly exciting. However, it is still worth a read, and at only 110 pages, even my sister could fit it into a train ride.