When local author (and Red Tri contributor!) Emma Bland Smith came upon the true story of Journey the wolf, she knew she had to share it. Smith teamed up with illustrator Robin James to create a captivating and heartwarming children’s book, which is out this month. Learn more about what makes this book so special, and what special events are happening right here in the Bay Area to celebrate its arrival.


A Tantalizingly True Story
The stunningly illustrated picture book tells the story of Journey, or OR7, a gray wolf born in Northeastern Oregon who was fit with a tracking device as a young pup by wildlife scientists. The timing couldn’t have been better, for just months after the group started tracking his movements, he split with his pack and set out on an unprecedented adventure, traveling more than 2,000 miles over three years and eventually crossing the state border into California. He became the first wolf to inhabit that region since 1924. 


How One Girl Helped Him Along the Way
But if the true story of the wandering wolf doesn’t make you teary, the parallel tale of Abby, a young girl who follows his story in the news and becomes intent on helping him, will definitely tug at those heartstrings. She is eventually able to secure the wolf’s safety by giving him a very special gift. (Abby’s story is fictionalized but inspired by true events.)


Meet the Author (and Some Wolves!)
This being a local story by a local author, Bay Area kids can actually ask the expert any unanswered questions about Journey they might have. Author Emma Bland Smith will be at the San Francisco Zoo for live readings and a Q&A on Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 at 11 am and 1:30 p.m. both days. She’ll appropriately be presenting just outside the Wolf Canyon exhibit  and there will be a gift store pop-up where visitors can purchase the book and other wolf-related toys.

You can also buy the book right here.

Learn more about the author and get info on future events and readings at emmabsmith.com.

Have you heard Journey’s tale? Do you remember when he was making his famous trek? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

–Erin Feher