Razaq Nadeem lives in the tribal area of Kala Dhaka, known as Black Mountain, in Pakistan. When an earthquake strikes the area and his family is lost, Razaq is told by his dying father to flee to Rawalpindi, where his uncle lives. In the aftermath of the quake, all is chaos and danger is around every corner.
Razaq is sold into slavery. Desperate to escape the virtual imprisonment of washing dishes in a teashop for now wage, he heads for the streets, only to be betrayed and returned. Razaq's exotic looks attract the attention of a customer at the teashop, with disastrous results. Sold once more, he must watch as Tahira, a girl he becomes fond of, is sold to a wealthy man.
Razaq and Tahira meet again, but despair of their fate as they grow older. Following a hair-raising escape, a way out is offered by social worker Majeed. Will Razaq and Tahira finally escape a lifetime of danger and grief?
From the author of Marrying Ameera comes a powerful and confronting book that explores the possibility of social justice from those who have no power.
Review: Set in Pakistan, the story of Mountain Wolf by Rosanne Hawke follows the tale of young boy Razaq Nadeem as his family and everything he knows is torn away from him.
Razaq is from the mountains, at fourteen he's looking forward to one day raising animals on his farm just like his father. But all that is taken away from him when one day his whole village is struck by an earthquake resulting in a horrific landslide.
As one of the few survivors Razaq feels lost and confused and finds himself helping not just himself but a local woman who mistakes him for her son. When Razaq is suddenly sold to a strange man he thinks he is travelling to Islamabad to find a job and maybe even find his uncle. But things do not turn out the way Razaq was hoping and he suddenly finds himself fighting for his freedom.
This is a simple tale of a young man fighting for himself while trying to do what is right for the ones he loves. Mountain Wolf is a touching story and is written in a way to suit a younger teenage audience, although often the content can be quite confronting.
The character of Razaq is interesting and well written. You are able to see as he grows from a strong child who only knows of the innocence of mountain life into a young man, forced into the world of slavery and prostitution. Through all of this Razaq is able to keep the morals of his father's people and remains strong and loyal.
I think what makes this book so likeable is the innocence of the characters and how this is displayed through the language used in the book. The tale is so touching and you are constantly reminded that these characters are barely more than children and are forced to deal with such horrific ordeals.
This book is a touching story with strong morals tied into it. The characters remind us to never give up and that there is always a reason to keep fighting. It also reminds us of the bonds of family and friends and the sacrifices we will make for the ones we love. I would definitely recommend this to young and old readers alike.
Rosanne Hawke lives in rural South Australia in an old Cornish farmhouse. She has written over 16 books for young people including The Keeper, Soraya, The Storyteller and Mustara. Many of her books have been shortlisted, or named as Notable Books in the CBCA Awards. Rosanne has been a teacher, and for almost 10 years was an aid working in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. She is a Carclew, Asialink, Varuna, and May Gibbs Fellow, and a Bard of Cornwall. Rosanne enjoys writing about family, multicultural issues, music and cats.
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Rosanne Hawke