Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

IIce Doge9780547899268_p0_v1_s260x420ce Dogs

Terry Lynn Johnson

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fiction, 2014

Suitable for Ages: 10-14

Themes: Sled dogs, Alaska, Wilderness, Survival, Grief

Opening: All eight of my dogs are stretched in front of me in pairs along the gangline. They claw the ground in frustration as the loudspeaker blares. “Here’s team number five. Our hometown girl, fourteen-year-old Victoria Secord!”

Synopsis:  Victoria is a dogsled racer in Alaska. Since the recent death of her father, who taught her everything she knows about being a musher, she pours herself into training her dogs and preparing for the White Wolf Classic. On a routine run, she comes across Chris who is injured in a snowmobile accident. A fast-approaching blizzard catches Victoria by surprise and covers her sled trails. She finds herself lost in the frozen wilderness with little food or protection. Her real race becomes one of survival against time. Will she be able to save Chris and herself?

Why I like this book: This inspiring and gripping story by Terry Lynn Johnson, is a page turner. Johnson, who once owned  and raced 18 Alaskan huskies, knows how beautiful, peaceful and unforgiving the wilderness can be. Reading a novel based on Johnson’s knowledge and experience makes for great realistic fiction and a very vivid setting. Her plot is fast-paced with high-adventure, danger, courage and hope. Her main characters, Victoria and Chris, are well-developed. The story is narrated by Victoria, a fiercely independent, strong, brave, and smart teen coping with the tragic death of her father in the wilderness. She is determined to carry on his legacy as a musher. Chris, a city boy from Toronto, offers a bit of comic relief. Their relationship is full of tension, emotion and complexity. He steps up to the plate and works with Victoria in a race for their survival. Ice Dogs is a spellbinding story that will appeal to young readers. Visit Terry Lynn Johnson at her website where you can view a video, read interesting information, and check out her blog.  Johnson is a conservation officer in Whitefish Falls, Ontario, Canada.

A special thank you to Amanda at Born Bookish, who first introduced me to Ice Dogs. Click on her blog to read her review.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

22 thoughts on “Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

  1. I’ve seen this one several times now, and I’ve even “met” Terry online. This one is on my TBR list. I absolutely loved books like this as a kid. Jack London, Jim Kjelgaard, Gary Paulsen, Jean Craighead George…I think I could have survived in the wilderness alone based solely on what I learned in those books!


    • Yes, I first learned about Terry online and was so intrigued I had to get the book. I’ve been to Alaska and Denali National Park where they show dog sled demonstrations. Love that Terry has written a strong female survival hero. Thought of Gary Paulsen and Jean Craighead as I read her book. You’d enjoy this novel!


  2. The raw wilderness with the connecting energy of dogs seems like the perfect setting for a story about grief. You are adding one to my reading list again! I’m looking forward to reading Ice Dogs.


  3. This sounds like something my son would enjoy. He loves books like this. They are always his first choice.

    And to answer your question about the book on my blog, it is YA fiction book, and I would definitely recommend it for a teenager. Thank you for visiting!


  4. This sounds like an exciting read about a subject many of us know little about. I like the sound of the main female character too. Since it takes place in Alaska, children will learn about the north while reading the book. I’ll keep this one in mind as a must read for me.


    • I love that the author features a girl as the hero in a survival story. But, the author was a musher and racer, so I’m sure she’s had some suspense herself. Yes, it’s a good book to teach about the beauty of Alaska, but the perils of the unforbidding wilderness. Thank you so much for tweeting my review.


  5. Reblogged this on Plum Tree Books Blog and commented:
    Patricia Tilton runs a blog called Children’s Books Heal. She reviews wonderful books ~ all of which are carefully chosen and all of which embody significant issues that children face from all walks of life. We all wish our little ones didn’t have to grow up too early, but should they have to because life deals them a rough hand, books such as Patricia brings to our attention are like little friends and companions that keep our little people company when things are really difficult. Thank you, Patricia for all that you do.l


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s