The Call of the Wild by Jack London fits into the juvenile fiction genre and was first published in 1903. It is recommended for readers ages 14 and up.
I was hesitant at first to pick this book up. The cover and summary clearly screamed boy book to me. That combined with an outdoors setting made it at the bottom of my reading list for several years. However one day I ran out of new books to read and there it was seemingly staring at me from my shelf and when I picked it up I was surprised at what I found inside. This novel recounts the story of Buck, a loyal pet dog who was taking from his master by a servant and sold to be a sled dog in the Yukon. London goes into detail about what Buck is feeling and thinking as he experiences harsh masters, frozen weather, and brutal slave labor for the first time. Buck must also learn to fall in or lead the pack of dogs he is forced to serve with to get enough food and protect himself. The frozen wasteland really comes to life as London tells the story of their travel with the hardships and quarrels that inevitably accompany it. Eventually through a mastery of skill and persistence Buck becomes the leader of his pack and gains fame throughout Canada. This fame leads him to his last owner to whom he was fiercely loyal, to the point that he would even jump into his arms over a cliff. However, Buck couldn’t suppress the call the wild had upon him. He saw a wolf one day and decided to follow it and after that returned less and less to the camp. Once he knew there was trouble but returned only to find he was too late to safe his master. After that, when he had nothing to tie him down, was he truly able to respond to the call of the wild. London tells this story of a dog so well that anyone can relate to it and enjoy themselves while reading of amazing adventures that they’re never likely to repeat. It was a fun read and I would recommend it to boys and girls of any age.