Monday, June 2, 2014

Middle Grade Mania ~ ICE DOGS

MMGM aka Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday was created by Shannon Messenger to give middle grade reads the attention they deserve. I'm joining in, today. If you'd like to see more MG books, click HERE to follow other participants. 

I'd like to start off with thanking the author for sending me a hard copy of this book. She merely sent it to me because, in her words, You've been a wonderful supporter and I wanted to thank you. Yeah, I got a little teary-eyed. Terry is an amazing person, blogging bud, and writer. Whatever I share about her or her work is because I believe it in my heart. 

I'm sure some of you have heard of ICE DOGS before, but I wanted to share my thoughts on it because it's much deserved.

AMAZON | B&N | GOODREADS
ICE DOGS by Terry Lynn Johnson

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Adventure
Released: February 4, 2014
Pages: 288

Favorite Passage/Line: I climb back to where the dogs are watching me with amusement. Blue's tongue hands in a silent laugh. I motion for Christ to let the dogs go and I grab the sled as it slides by. Chris beams at me from his runner and then grabs me with one arm and awkwardly crushes me into his side. I grin right back with abandon, feeling absolutely giddy with joy. Our eyes connect with the shared delight of the moment. (pg. 176)

Description: Victoria Secord, a 14-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival, and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods, is entirely up to her.

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?


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20 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to reading this one. Outdoor survival stories are not normally on my preferred genre list, but I have followed Terry's journey to publication for a long time, and I've heard such good things about this book. It's on my summer, post-retirement, to-read list!

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  2. Ive heard such good things about this book! Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. I read this book at the beginning of the year and really enjoyed it.

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  4. Great review! And who wouldn't love that cover?

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  5. I've been wanting to read one of Terry's books, and I think my 10-yo son would like this too. Definitely going to add this to the list! :)

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    1. I really think your little guy would love it. Terry sent me this book, and while I was reading my 10 year old became so intrigued he began reading book I. He brought both to school and his teacher began reading it. Funny... I'd emailed Terry to let her know.

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  6. I love wilderness survival stories! All the good ones are usually YA and MG too, love that! I'll definitely add this to my to read list!

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  7. The cover pulled me in right away. Sounds like a great story. My introduction many years ago with outdoor survival books was HATCHET and MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. I hope ICE DOGS matches their intensity.

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    1. Haha! Mrs. Y just mentioned MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. I think ICE DOGS shows great survival skills, especially for this age range.

      Thanks for dropping by, Greg!

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  8. I've heard such good things about this one. I'm a lover of survival stories--this makes me think of JULIE AND THE WOLVES.
    Thanks for featuring!

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  9. My favorite is still George's My Side of the Mountain. This book was amazing, and the cover is gorgeous! I'm glad it has gotten the praise it deserves.

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  10. This is on my to-read list! I need to grab a copy soon.

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    1. :)

      I feel bad, because she sent it to me a while ago. I read it right off, but hadn't found a blog day to post. lol It's worth the read.

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  11. I ADORE this book! So do my students. Terry really captures the MG voice and the mix of adventure with a splash of appropriate romance is fabulous!!

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  12. Everytime I see that cover I have to stop myself from heading out the door to find a new dog for our house. This looks like and sounds like a super book for the MG crowd, and maybe for me, too.

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  13. I truly love the cover of this book. It's on my TBR list.

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  14. Glad you liked it. Me too. I thought the romance was very sweet.

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  15. There's something always very touching about a story with kids and dogs. The high stakes involved in this book certainly add to the intrigue. I've got this one on my TBR but I'll have to bump it up my list.

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  16. I adore this book. Terry is a fantastic writing.

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