The Call of the Wild is a historic novel that I missed reading in high school. Despite growing up in California, Jack London described the Canadian north as he had experienced it during the Klondike gold rush. This novel, published in 1903, was written completely from the perspective of a dog named Buck and was one of more than 50 novels that London wrote during his short life of 40 years.
I enjoyed listening to the exploits of Buck during my commutes. He had enjoyed an idyllic life on a Californian ranch. He was the favoured dog until he was stolen and sold into the harsh life of a sled dog. It was the time of the gold rush and demand for dogs was high. Buck was neglected and mistreated during his travels North. He quickly learned the lesson of human dominance and to be wary of weapons.
As he adapted to life in the Yukon, he honed his instincts and learned the ways of the dogs. He began a rivalry for the top spot, leading the sled. As Buck honed his leadership skills, he learned lessons of the canine kind along with developing commitment to pulling the sled. He passed through a number of owners, experiencing both abuse and kindness from humans.
Buck became a legend in the Yukon. He took his responsibility seriously and repaid kindness and respect with dogged determination and loyalty. The longer he lived in the wild, he left his domestication behind and followed his animal instincts.
This is an action packed book profiling the raw, instinctual behaviour of animals in the wild. The reader can’t help but feel appreciate his strength and ability to adapt in difficult situations. This would be the perfect book for a high school class with the action packed story and Northern Canadian setting.