A review by readingthroughthelists
The Call of the Wild by Jack London

adventurous challenging informative reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


I have waited ages to read any Jack London. Not because of any objection or qualm, but simply because of the two boys in my elementary/middle school who traded between Call of the Wild and White Fang for every book report for years (no teacher ever caught on, I guess). Because of this, I have always (unfairly) assumed London’s work to be basic and boring.

Not so.

The Call of the Wild has proved fascinating in its examination of the “primitive” and “wild” in contrast with the “civilized” life accessible only to those in genial, temperate climates. I have been encouraging my seventh graders to consider the true nature of animals vs. people, to assess London’s views on the “primitive” elements in both, and to consider what implications this might hold for us today.

I await their final thoughts with anticipation.

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