I started reading The Call of the Wild by Jack London with my kids in the evening back in September. We didn't finish and then my evenings in October were so busy, I rarely got a chance to read to the kids. We only had one chapter left, so this week we finished it.
The Call of the Wild tells the story of Buck, a half shepherd/half St. Bernard enjoying his easy life in a small town in California. Then, he is kidnapped, transported and sold to gold prospectors in Alaska. Buck's life drastically changes. He must fight off rival dogs, withstand the blows from his master's club, and survive the treacherous frozen wilderness. Buck grows strong and cunning, eventually heeding "the call of the wild".
I found the story fascinating and rich. I was impressed with London's ability to write believably from within the mind of a dog. It was definitely a unique view of the world. The book is full of adventure and is never dull.
The vocabulary is intensive and we did have to stop several times each evening to discuss the meanings of words and the basics of plot. Neal enjoyed the story, but even he had to ask a lot of questions about plot and meanings of words. I think he might have been able to grasp it better if he had simply read it by himself. My smaller children were completely lost. They asked each night to read, but I think it was simply to prolong bedtime and because they do like to listen to me read. This particular book was definitely beyond their understanding.