Grades 4 - 7
Grade level Equivalent: 7.3
Lexile® Measure: 1120L
Guided Reading: Y
- Historical Fiction
- Westward Exploration and Expansion
- Courage, Bravery, Heroism
- Antarctica and Arctic Regions
About This Book
This classic wilderness adventure explores the thin line that separates tame from wild — within animals and humans alike. Buck is an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, and part Scotch shepherd, with wolf blood in his ancestry. He is enjoying his comfortable life as a family pet in California when dog traffickers, who are meeting the demand for sled dogs in the Alaskan gold rush, steal him. The harsh winter is like nothing he has ever experienced, and each day with the sled dog team is a very real struggle for survival. Pushed to the limit, Buck finds instincts he didn't know he had — primordial urges deep within him are being awakened. Buck is passed from owner to owner, including a brutal threesome that lacks the resources to survive on their own on the Alaskan frontier. They beat Buck within an inch of his life. When John Thornton saves Buck, he is grateful, and for a time it seems that his domesticated side has won. But when Thornton is killed, Buck heeds the call: he returns to the wild, eventually becoming leader of a wolf pack and the legendary "Ghost Dog" of the Klondike.
In re-creating the world of the frontier, Jack London drew from his own experiences in the Klondike during the gold rush of 1897, and he vividly depicts the harsh conditions in which man and beast were forced to survive. Considered his masterpiece, The Call of the Wild is a gripping story that will resonate as strongly with today's readers as it did when it was first published nearly 100 years ago.