Timber Wolf

Timber Wolf

Book - 2011
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This is the third book in the story of the Byrne family, Irish farmers whose lives were overturned in Greener Grass , then tested so severely in Wild Geese .

In Timber Wolf , Kit's younger brother, is now the focus. Jack is determined to make his mark in the rough-and-ready lumbering industry up the Ottawa river from late 1840s Bytown. The young boy, not yet a teenager but full of braggadocio, is sure that he can quickly learn to be a hard-muscled and brave rafts-man. But as the story opens, we find Jack lying on a rocky floor in the deep forest, sore and bruised - and in fact totally unaware of who and where he is. Throughout the story Jack gradually pieces together dreams, vague clues and reminders that tell him of his history - in the course of which comes to grips with mistakes he has made. One of the mistakes he remembers, was in leading his best friend Mick into a huge logjam whose explosion probably killed him. Guilt becomes the governing theme of Jack's recovery. At the same time he meets, is terrified by, and eventually guarded by a young wolf who appears out of the woods early in his ordeal - and also stumbles into a relationship with an aboriginal family whose young son's own stormy coming of age coincides with Jack's developing awareness.

In Caroline Pignat's more than able hands, this concluding piece of the Byrne family saga is engaging, funny, stirring, and ultimately most satisfying. Pignat's ability to weave well-researched historical details into her beautifully told tale is stunning. And the voice of the story - as was true in the previous volumes - carries an unmistakable lilt. This is an author who has learned how to create a yarn - this one especially appealing to middle-grade boy readers hungry for adventure.

Shortlisted - IODE Violet Downey Book Award

Shortlisted - Manitoba Young Readers

Shortlisted - Irma Simonton Black Award

Shortlisted - Rocky Mountain Book Award 2013

OLA Top Junior Fiction Honourable Mention

Publisher: Markham, Ont. : Red Deer Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9780889954595
Branch Call Number: PIGNA
Characteristics: 214 p.


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Jul 21, 2016

This novel can be read either as a stand-alone story or as the third installment in the historical fiction series that began with Greener Grass. As a stand-alone, the story has shades of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, detailing the survival of a young man in the Canadian wilderness. As the sequel to Wild Geese, it effectively and entertainingly answers the question of what happened to Jack Byrne after he left his sister Kit on the shores of Grosse Isle. Readers can expect short, fast-paced chapters, and, of course, Caroline Pignat's intimate and lyrical style.

SPL_Childrens Jul 26, 2012

Another survival/adventure story, Timber Wolf, is set in the forests of northern Ontario, close to the upper reaches of the Ottawa River. The year: 1847.

Twelve-year-old Jack Byrne awoke with no memory of how he came to be lying on the ground, injured, bruised and cold. He had no idea of where he was – or even who he was. Looking around him, he could see only trees and snow. More snow appeared to be on the way, and Jack could hear the frightening howl of a wolf somewhere among the trees.

Jack’s immediate concern was to find food and shelter. Pushing himself to hobble through the trees, he found a trap. He ate the rabbit caught in the trap and was confronted by a young Algonquin trapper, Mahingan. Later, Jack was cared for by the boy and his grandfather, from whom he learned many wilderness survival techniques.

In a similar fashion to Lucy (Escape Under the Forever Sky) Jack was also helped in the forest by a wild animal - in this case, a young timber wolf.

As his injuries healed, Jack had flashbacks which eventually overcame his amnesia. He remembered who he was and how he had came to the forest. Overcoming adversity after adversity, he eventually reached home and was reunited with family.

Resourceful and brave, Jack is a young protagonist whom boys can admire. Timber Wolf is told from Jack’s point of view, and his storywill keep readers too enthralled to realize that they are learning about Ontario’s pioneer logging industry and the Algonquin way of life at that time. This page-turning story can be read alone or as the third book in the Byrne Family series. (The other titles, Greener Grass and Wild Geese, feature Jack’s sister, Kit.)

Apr 15, 2012

I definately recommend this :) A great sequel to Greener Grass and Wild Geese

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SPL_Childrens Jul 26, 2012

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 13


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