Katharine Johnson northwoods Minnesota lake at sunset

Katharine Johnson

Born of an Eclipse

At high noon the moon slides in front of the sun and dark­ens the world. Gram­my beats her chest, plead­ing for the Sun God to return, but the world remains dark.

At the moment of deep­est gloom, a cry pierces the darkness.

Ahni is born!

“Born bad!” Pap curs­es. “Best we leave her for the wolves.”


  • Inter­net search­es using key words: fer­al child(ren), raised by wolves, omens, superstitions.
  • Inter­net search­es for pho­tos of log­ging camps, wani­gans, cook shacks, etc.
  • Julie of the Wolves. Jean Craig­head George. Harper­Collins, 1972.
  • The Lit­tle Peo­ple and the Water of Life by Ron­da J. Snow and pub­lished by Black Bears and Blue­ber­ries Pub­lish­ing, 2021.
  • Pium paum. Finnish Children’s song. (may be heard online)


Born of an Eclipse blends the folk­tales of log­gers and their dark superstitions—which vic­tim­ize Ahni. Despite her unfair cir­cum­stances and the harsh con­di­tions of the log­ging camp, Ahni remains plucky and endear­ing. Deter­mined to find her place in the world, she will sure­ly find her place in your heart. (Lin­da Glaser is the author of over 30 books includ­ing Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Stat­ue of Lib­er­ty, recip­i­ent of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award)

An imag­i­na­tive tale … Johnson’s musi­cal prose cap­tures the folk­tale qual­i­ty of [Born of An Eclipse]. (Kirkus Reviews)

Author’s Note

I’ve always been fas­ci­nat­ed by myths, leg­ends, and fic­tion that depict fer­al chil­dren, espe­cial­ly those reared by wild ani­mals such as wolves, apes, mon­keys, and bears. Famous exam­ples include Romu­lus and Remus, Rud­yard Kipling’s Mowgli, and Edgar Rice Bur­roughs’s Tarzan.

In my research I found an intrigu­ing sto­ry about Amala and Kamala who were alleged­ly fer­al girls of Ben­gal, India, raised by a wolf family.

Super­sti­tions are a way humans try to explain the inex­plic­a­ble. They play an impor­tant role in Born of an Eclipse. It is easy to scoff at such beliefs, but how many hotels do not have a 13th floor? Or have you ever said some­thing like Knock on wood?

Born of an Eclipse

Sil­ver Fox Books, 2023
Paper­back ISBN: 979–8‑9860388–4‑1

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