I’ve been waiting for my library to get this book for a very long time! It was well worth the wait. I enjoyed this book so much I’ll probably buy a copy for myself.
Victoria Secord, a fourteen-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.
The 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.
Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson, Houghton Mifflin, 2014
This book was fast-paced and the action kept me wondering whether Victoria would survive. I also liked the storyline that followed her growing friendship with the “city boy” and how the two of them learned to get along as the story developed. Even though Victoria is 14 and this is listed as YA, I think it’s a good read for older MG students, especially if they are interested in dogs or survival, with a touch of romance.
The author was so successful at bringing the setting to life using details and lovely language! As a writer, I’d read this again to study the language and how every word counts.
“All eight of my dogs are stretched in front of me in pairs along the gangline.”
“I see the cloudless night sky lighting our campsite with the glow from the stars and half a moon.”
“My legs feel rooted to the trail and for an awful second, all I see is black.”
“The ice around us tinkles and creaks like glass.”
Terry Lynn Johnson lives in Northern Ontario, where she works as a Conservation Officer. Ice Dogs was inspired by a team of crazy huskies she used to have.
In an interview with Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles, Terry says she doesn't like giving writing advice because her process is different every time. But she does give this tip: “…one thing I do each time is try to keep questions in the readers mind. Adding answers slowly throughout the story is one way of rewarding a reader.”
Terry Lynn Johnson’s first book, Dogsled Dreams, is about twelve-year old Rebecca and her goal of becoming a famous sled dog racer. I’m looking forward to reading it one day!
For more, visit Terry Lynn Johnson’s website.
Looking for more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday books? Author Shannon Messenger posts a weekly list of bloggers reviewing great middle grade books. Shannon is the founder of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and the author of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series.