Sasha, My Friend.  Barbara Corcoran

Atheneum, 1969; Awarded 1972.

Synopsis: After her mother is killed in an accident, 14-year-old Hallie moves with her father from California to a Christmas tree farm in Montana, where it's hoped her father can recover from injuries he sustained in the same accident. It's a lonely life, taking correspondence courses instead of attending a real school, and with only a crippled girl named Birdie for a friend in that remote wilderness. Then Sasha enters her life. Hallie finds the orphaned wolf pup and decided to raise it as a pet. Sasha helps make life bearable for Hallie, who desperately needs his love and companionship.

Themes: Friendship; Wildlife; Death

Author information: SATA vol.3

Discussion questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. Discuss the pros and cons of taking correspondence courses for school.
2. Why do you think John Penney was so mean to Hallie?
3. Have you ever had a pet that died? How did that make you feel?

Activities:
1. Find animal tracks in mud, snow, or sand. What animal or animals did they come from?  Standard 2, Benchmark 4
2. Find your favorite poets and poems. Write your own poems.  Standard 5, Benchmark 3
3. Research the state of Montana to find the name of the capital city, the state population, native animals, the state bird, etc.  Standard 1, Benchmark 5