No child should be allowed to grow up without reading The Jungle Books. Published in 1894 and 1895, the stories crackle with as much life and intensity as ever. Rudyard Kipling pours fuel on childhood fantasies with his tales of Mowgli, lost in the jungles of India as a child and adopted into a family of wolves. Mowgli is brought up on a diet of Jungle Law, loyalty, and fresh meat from the kill. Regular adventures with his friends and enemies among the Jungle-People--cobras, panthers, bears, and tigers--hone this man-cub's strength and cleverness and whet every reader's imagination. Mowgli's story is interspersed with other tales of the jungle, such as "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," lending depth and diversity to our understanding of Kipling's India. In much the same way Mowgli is carried away by the Bandar-log monkeys, young readers will be caught up by the stories, swinging from page to page, breathless, thrilled, and terrified. (Ages 9 to 12)
Collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1894. The Second Jungle Book, published in 1895, contains stories linked by poems. The stories tell mostly of Mowgli, an Indian boy who is raised by wolves from infancy and who learns self-sufficiency and wisdom from the jungle animals. The book describes the social life of the wolf pack and, more fancifully, the justice and natural order of life in the jungle. Among the animals whose tales are related in the work are Akela the wolf; Baloo the brown bear; Shere Khan, the boastful Bengal tiger who is Mowgli's enemy; Kaa the python; Bagheera the panther; and Rikki-tikki-tavi the mongoose.
-- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature