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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Eye of the Wolf
by Daniel Pennac
Age Range: 9-11
There is a dreamlike quality about this novel emphaised by the powerful, unusual
opening of a boy standing motionless as he stares at a wolf in a zoo. Although
born worlds apart, as they look at each other they gradually establish a silent
but profound telepathic channel of communication that allows them to share their
very different experiences. The wolf from Alaska has lost nearly everything
including an eye and his beloved pack. By rescuing his golden-furred sister
whom the hunters were after, he is caught and ends up in the zoo. The boy
too, has lost much and seen many terrible things as he wandered through
different regions of Africa. Both wolf and boy have had to learn about life
through experiencing loss and tragedy.
The narrative is full of evocative descriptive detail and master storyteller Daniel Pennac weaves a tale that is both magical and mysterious. The ecological message is underplayed, yet is clear in the closing pages of the book. Sarah Adams won the 2005 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation for her translation of this strange and highly original story about suffering, courage and growing friendship.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)