Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
Analysis: Plot Analysis
Most good stories start with a fundamental list of ingredients: the initial situation, conflict, complication, climax, suspense, denouement, and conclusion. Great writers sometimes shake up the recipe and add some spice.
Lost in Space
Our girl's lost. There's no doubt about it. In fact, it's pretty much the first thing we know. Not only is Miyax lost, she's lost in one of the most unforgiving places on earth: the North Slope of Alaska. Good thing she's stumbled upon some wolves to help her out. And good thing her dad was an awesome Eskimo hunter. He taught her a lot about survival. This will definitely be an interesting story.
The Girl who Cried Wolf… Or Tried
The conflict here is survival. Plain and simple. Miyax speaks English and Eskimo. She does not, unfortunately, speak wolf. So how in the world can she tell these wolves she's hungry? We watch as Miyax struggles to learn their language in order to survive.
Where'd the Wolves Go?
There are a lot of complications in this book: from a rogue wolf stealing her supplies to an encounter with a grizzly, things aren't easy for Miyax out on the tundra. Plus, the wolves disappear for long stretches of time. None of this is making it easy to survive.
The Hunter Becomes the Hunted
Amaroq, the leader of the wolf pack, has seemed pretty invincible up until this point. And that's a good thing, too, because Miyax has come to think of him as her wolf-father. But Amaroq finally meets a foe he can't take down: hunters in a plane. In a climactic moment, Amaroq is shot and Miyax's whole life on the tundra comes crashing down. The civilization she comes from has killed the father she's come to love. It's a key moment for our Miyax.
Is the trauma of losing Amaroq at the hands of civilization enough to make Miyax end her journey back to town and stay on the tundra? Well, we know the answer to that question. Miyax chooses the tundra life, and we can't blame her. But how long can a thirteen-year-old possibly last all alone out there? That's where our suspense comes in. What will happen to our leading lady?
From Tundra to Town to Tundra Again
When Miyax hears her father is still alive, she simply has to go back to town. He's a true Eskimo, after all, and now Miyax is, too. She imagines an ideal life in which she and Kapugen live like Eskimos in town. Unfortunately, Kapugen is not the man he used to be. And Miyax wants nothing to do with him, so it's back to the tundra for her.
To Town (Again)
When Miyax loses Tornait to the cold, she knows the hour of the Eskimo is over. It's time to face the facts and return to her father.