Sunday, November 6, 2011
WOLVES, BOYS, & OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT KILL ME by Kristen Chandler
The residents of West End, Montana, live in the midst of Yellowstone National Park. They are surrounded by tourists every summer and live a solitary existence all winter. Some of the residents make their living as cattle ranchers, and a federal program reintroducing wolves into the park system has them fighting mad.
KJ Carson lives with her father and works with him in his sporting goods and supply store and sometimes helps in the fishing/hunting guide business he also runs. Her fascination with the wolves is not really shared by her father considering that hunting is a major source of their family income.
Watching the wolves and following their movements tracked on several internet sites had always been enough for KJ, but her involvement changes when she begins writing for the school newspaper. The journalism teacher even makes KJ the editor and encourages her interests in the wolves.
When an environmental scientist and her teenage son arrive in West End to study the wolves, KJ learns even more about the mysterious animals. Their arrival creates a bit of a distraction though when KJ falls for the scientist's son Virgil. As the friction between the ranchers and the wolf supporters increases, KJ isn't sure whether her budding relationship with Virgil will be helped or destroyed.
WOLVES, BOYS, & OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT KILL ME is the debut work of author Kristen Chandler. It features small town living, a clash between nature and perceived government interference, and a touch of romance. Chandler's strong female character reminds me of veteran YA authors like Joan Bauer and Ellen Wittlinger.