A featured school classic review.
Buck, a sturdy crossbreed canine (half St. Bernard, half Shepard), is a dog born to luxury and raised in a sheltered Californian home. But then he is kidnapped and sold to be a sled dog in the harsh and frozen Yukon Territory. Passed from master to master, Buck embarks on an extraordinary journey, proving his unbreakable spirit…
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece. Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.
Jack London is an absolutely incredible writer and his unique views on stories have rightly earned him the popularity he has amongst classic literature. Writing through the eyes of an animal to reveal applicable life morals does more than just make for a good story, it makes those stories memorable and stand out among others.
As the synopsis says, Call of the Wild is Jack London’s most popular work and the reasons for that are because it is different and its just as intense as any other adventure novel. Just because this book is about a dog does not make it a lighthearted read, its actually quite the contrary.
The setting is very harsh, being in the wilds of Alaska where its cold and dark, and the other characters are mean and gruff. Its a book about survival, and in order for dogs to survive in these types of environments is often by killing off their competitors for life, and there is a lot of death in this book. There are multiple, detailed, scenes in which the human characters entertain dog fighting, abuse (both verbal and physical), and some mild language.
However, the morals found in this book, though not “Christian” by any means, encourage never giving up when the whole world pushes against you and also reveals that sometimes sacrificing your means to live for others are indeed the only ways to survive.
So overall, this is an intense book, especially for some middle graders, but I give it 4 out of 5 stars and do recommend it for ages 13-15.