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Author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure.
COVETED! MUST HAVE!
My Splats: Follow the touching survival journey of a young girl, as she finds strength in the love of her sled dogs to deal with a deep loss and return herself, the dogs, and a lost boy home.
Victoria is a tenaciously-willed tween/teen, both physically and mentally. As far as comprehending her surroundings, she's wise beyond her years. Her instincts of survival are as upfront in her being as some of our favorite foods are to us; they are simply part of what makes her tick.
No one tells her what to do, when it comes to her place in the beauty of nature, which is such a refreshing element in this book. The majority of kids this age are focused on shopping, their next game, and even preparing for college - not which way the wind is blowing and how it could affect the falling snow or how they'd get food and shelter without electricity (me included). Victoria respects the natural world and its power. A born leader, she's self-assured and assertive. Her voice is fantastic and truly made this story move forward. The story is 'real', like I could help Victoria and Chris or pat one of the dogs. Johnson put me there.
The relationship Victoria has with her dogs is tender and sweet. They are her family, tangible and important. She also has a beautiful connection with her father, albeit he's no longer with them. But she harnesses all he's taught her in her heart, which becomes an anchor for the story after she finds Chris--a former city dweller new to town and now stranded in the middle of nowhere on his crashed snowmobile. Together, equip with only the bare minimum out in the tundra, they must dig deep to find courage and strength to beat the odds of the frigid cold and distance they must travel home.
Distinct terminology is essential in order for the reader to understand Victoria's Alaskan world. The author does not disappoint. This tale is perfectly woven between expected/average word choices and intriguing terms that are easy to understand. It made the story flow and beam with enchantment. I also gained a deeper peek into Victoria and her every day life and learned a lot about the sport of sled dogs and the care given to these amazing animals.
ICE DOGS is a great read and much deserving of its Junior Library Guild Selection.
Have you ever read a story about outdoor survival, children's lit or adult? Care to share?