Enthralling descriptive writing that brings wild places and creatures to life is one of the things that moves us to save them. It’s what’s made writers from Thoreau to Rachel Carson to E.O. Wilson so inspiring. As a 12-year-old growing up on a Virginia farm, I found that very inspiration in the writing of Jean Craighead George.
George, who passed away recently at the age of 92, has been called one of America’s greatest nature writers for children. Her novel “Julie of the Wolves” let me see the Arctic through the eyes of a young girl lost in the frozen landscape who survives by joining a family of wolves.
The image of Julie and her wolf pack often comes to me as I contemplate how we can save the incredible place they called home. Recently, I opened this wondrous book yet again. It had helped spark my early fascination with wild things—and with the Arctic. George forged a connection for me with a place I’ve never been, a connection that has remained vivid for decades.