Curricular Materials

Books for School Libraries

Check your school and local libraries to see if they have up-to-date juvenile books on London. Most old ones are incomplete and inaccurate. These are highly recommended:

Lisandrelli, Elaine Slivinski. Jack London: A Writer's Life. Enslow, 1999. Grades 5-9.
A straightforward, well-written biography that covers London's adventures, from the Yukon to the slums of England, from Polynesia to his Beauty Ranch. Unlike most previous juvenile biographies on London, this one avoids repeating old myths and includes information about the capable, creative women in his life.

Dyer, Daniel. Jack London: A Biography.  Scholastic, 1997. Grades 6-12.
A balanced, thorough account, based upon the writer's own study of London's letters and other private sources. Dyer is a teacher and knows his age group. Provides a good sense of how London succeeded despite obstacles and tragedies. Photographs enhance the text.

Stefoff, Rebecca, Jack London: An American Original. Oxford University Press, 2002. Grades 9 and above. The Library and School Journal reviewer noted: "The narrative is exciting and accessible, leaving readers with a sense of London's adventuresome and hardworking personality. The text is supplemented by interesting and informative illustrations, and includes excerpts from primary-source material. A list of parks and other historic sites that commemorate London's career is appended. The one weakness, and it is a major one, that detracts from this work's literary merit is the lack of citations." Marilyn Heath, Belton-Honea Path High School, Honea Path, SC

Books for Teachers

Dyer, Daniel.  The Call of the Wild: Annotated and Illustrated.  University of Oklahoma, 1997.
    Order this for your school library in hardback as well.  Half the volume consists of maps, historical background, expansion of text material, glossary, etc., so that a reader can move from the literature into history, geography, myth, anthropology, and other topics as well.

Dyer, Daniel.  The Call of the Wild for Teachers.  University of Oklahoma, 1997.
A curriculum guide rich with plans, resources, and materials.  Includes a keying to Dyer's edition of The Call of the Wild, but can be used with any edition.