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Mary Casanova - Books for Young People
Wolf Shadows by Mary Casanova
Wolf Shadows
written by Mary Casanova
cover art by Dan Brown
Hyperion, 1997
(PB) 978-0-979-34441-1
(Audio) 978-0-788-76086-0
Reissued by the University of Minnesota Press, 2013
(PB) 978-0-81669-031-2
Wolf Shadows from Autographed books!
Wolf Shadows
The song started low, a single voice rising, then was quickly joined by a chorus of high-pitched and throatier howls. The song rose and fell, traveling over the treetops.

Book Description:

When Seth hears wolves howling in the woods behind his home, it sends a chill down his spine. Even though he can't help the unreasoning fear that creeps over him, Seth wants to see the wolf packs thrive. But Seth's beliefs put him at odds with those who want to hunt wolves again: Seth's best friend, Matt, among them. It seems to Seth he is being forced to choose between wolves and a lifelong friendship-and then Matt commits an irrational act of violence ...

Reviews and Comments
  • Minnesota Book Award masterlist,1998
  • Northeastern Minnesota Book Award masterlist, 1998
  • ALA Quick Picks for YA Reluctant Readers masterlist
  • Jeanette Fair Award Runner-up, 1999
  • Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Minnesota,
    Tau State Organization
  • Mark Twain Book Award masterlist (Missouri), 1999-2000
  • Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Book Award list, 1999-2000
  • Best Read-Alouds Booklist (Indiana,  1999-2000
  • Iowa Children's Choice Award masterlist, 2000-2001
  • Lamplighter Award list, National Christian Schools Association,
Curriculum Information
  • Minnesota Book Award Master List, 1998
  • Northeastern Minnesota Book Award Master List, 1998
  • ALA Quick Picks for YA Reluctant Readers nominee
  • Jeanette Fair Award Finalist, Delta Kappa Gamma Society Int'l,
    Tau State Organization
  • Mark Twain Book Award Master List (Missouri), 1999-2000
  • Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Master List, l999-2000
  • Best Read-Alouds Booklist (Indiana), 1999-2000
  • Iowa Children’s Choice Master List, 2000-2001
  • Lamplighter Award Master List, Nat’l Christian Schools Assoc.,
Curriculum Information
Learn about Wild Wolves

Online Resources

  • National Geographic Geoguide: This is the ultimate classroom/family guide. This online resource includes a multitude of classroom ideas and family activities to accompany the May 1998 issue of National Geography and World "Wolves."

  • The Defenders of Wildlife Site: Wolves: Quoted from the site: Defenders of Wildlife has been a leader in wolf conservation since wolves first appeared on the federal endangered species list. In recent years, Defenders helped restore wolves to the Northern Rockies and played key roles in the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Southwest and red wolves to the Southeast.

  • NOVA Online: Wild Wolves

  • International Wolf Center

  • Red Wolves of Alligator River

  • Wolf Park is a nonprofit research and education facility dedicated to the understanding and conservation of the wolf, a most misunderstood predator. Located in Indiana, the Park was established in 1972 by Dr. Erich Klinghammer and is home to 18 wolves, a small herd of bison, three foxes and a coyote.

  • International Wolf Center, Ely, MN The International Wolf Center supports the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wild lands and the human role in their future.
Mary Shares the Story Behind Wolf Shadows
One day, when skiing through the woods, I came across a fresh wolf kill. The snow was stained red. Tawny fur was scattered over wolf and deer tracks. Only a few small bones remained. The wolves had wasted nothing.

I've long held a fascination for wolves. Every time I see a wolf crossing a remote road or see one traveling across a frozen lake, I'm filled with awe and wonder. I'm glad to see the wolf population thrive, but not everyone feels as I do.

I've overheard conversations at small cafes where individuals brag about illegally shooting, trapping, or maiming a wolf. They see wolves as their enemy.

So I started to wonder, as writers do, what if...? What if Seth and Matt (from Moose Tracks) find themselves far apart on how they feel about wolves? What if Matt comes from a family who once legally hunted wolves? What if Seth feels a tingle of fear about wolves, but wants to see them thrive? What if Matt loses one of his cattle to what he thinks is a wolf attack? What might he do?

In Wolf Shadows, Seth is caring for the injured moose calf he rescued from poachers, and struggles to let it go into the wild (where the wolf population has increased). In order to write some of the scenes in this book, I needed more "hands on" research with moose calves. I found not one but three at the Minnesota Zoo. The zookeeper was kind enough to allow me into their sleeping/feeding quarters and get to know Willow, Nah Nah, and Gilly. Even at 5 months old, moose are BIG! But these moose calves were gentle; they'd been bottle-fed. They allowed me to scratch them behind their big ears and pet them, sinking my fingers into their fur, nearly 3 inches deep. I fell in love!

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