Dogsled Dreams is a debut novel by Terry Lynn Johnson about a girl who dreams of racing her dogs in the frozen north. This middle grade novel is fast-paced, stuffed full of doggy goodness and racing lingo, and charmed the anorak off me from the very first page. Johnson has created a story that will appeal equally to 7-year-old boys who love puppies and 12-year-old girls who dream of being on American Idol. That is quite a feat, and mark me impressed.
Rebecca lives with her dad and step-mom, raising their Alaskan Huskies. She dreams of being a champion musher and doesn’t shy away from the hard, cold work of caring for the dogs she loves. But will her dad ever let her run her own team? Or even race? One doggy adventure after another pulls Rebecca and her team toward the fame she imagines in her hilarious daydreams of success. And throughout, Rebecca’s love for her dogs shines as bright as the northern snow.
I wish I knew the reading level of this book, but it doesn’t shy away from the Big Words we discussed on Monday, with beautiful descriptions of the dogs and their snowy world. There’s even a glossary in the back with all the dog mushing terms, and a teacher’s guide on Johnson’s website. But I’m sure this would be a challenging read for young advanced readers, and a simply delightful story for the older ones. Except for the occasional porcupine quill encounters, there’s no violence to speak of in this lovely book. I highly recommend Dogsled Dreams for advanced readers as young as five.
RL: n/a CSM: n/a Rating: G Content: good, clean fun
See this interview of Terry on KarenG’s blog.