A young wolf seeks the bravery to be himself in this “rich take on the wild that quickens the pulse and fills the heart” (Kirkus Reviews), from the author of National Book Award Finalist Mean Margaret and The Wainscott Weasel.
Wolves. Predators of the wild. Stalkers of the forests. Born into rankings and expected to live up to their roles. Blue Boy, the alpha male of his pack, is the largest wolf many have ever seen, and his dream is to have a firstborn son who will take after him in every way. But Lamar is not turning out the way his father hoped. Lamar likes to watch butterflies. He worries if his younger siblings fall behind in the hunt. He has little interest in peacocking in front of other clans. Blue Boy grows increasingly dismayed at Lamar’s lack of wolf instincts, and then Lamar does the intolerable: he becomes attracted to a coyote. While the other infractions can be begrudgingly tolerated, this one cannot, and the unity of the pack is in jeopardy. Lamar wants to make his family happy, but is doing what is expected of him worth losing the only true friend he’s ever had?
When Blue Boy, the most respected wolf in Yellowstone, meets his son for the first time, he is overjoyed. His first born! But that joy shifts to increasing disappointment when Lamar seems as interested in chasing beetles as in chasing elk, or when he worries about his siblings falling behind in a hunt instead of leading the pack–definitely not alpha behavior. Even more unseemly, Lamar is entranced by, of all creatures, a coyote. Lamar doesn’t understand what makes wolves and coyotes so different from one another, what makes their friendship so . . . taboo. But when his troubled thoughts prompt him to leave the pack, a usurper rises from within its ranks to challenge the injured Blue Boy, and Lamar finds himself torn between what is expected of him and what his heart yearns for. It seems no matter what he decides to do, he’s going to let someone down–his father, the coyote, the entire pack, or himself . . . .