The Wolf Keepers

Written by Elise Broach, Illustrated by Alice Ratterree


This is a great story of a 12-year-old girl, Lizzie Durango, who lives in a zoo with her father, the zoo keeper. She is naturally observant and feels connected to the animals in the zoo and her summer assignment to keep a journal, observing nature as John Muir did, has increased both those qualities. These two traits lead her to notice both a suspicious boy and a strange illness affecting the wolves. She slowly unravels the boy’s secrets and he helps her unravel the strange goings on in the wolf enclosure. Their struggle to find out what’s happening to the wolves lands them alone and unprepared in the back country of Yosemite National Park. During their efforts to survive in the wild they discover the answers to both an historical mystery and the current mystery of the wolves. The story explores what it means to be a loyal friend and a trusted daughter, and illustrates the conflict between protecting animals and letting them be wild and free. Finally, it leaves the reader to decide if it is right to do a terrible thing in order to accomplish something good. These themes and thought-provoking questions are gracefully woven into a plot that will keep the reader wanting to know the solution to the several mysteries that are intertwined.

Review by Linda Thompson, Wasatch Jr. High
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

The Wolf Keepers
Written by Elise Broach, Illustrated by Alice Ratterree
Henry Holt and Company
343 pages
Release Date: October 11, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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