IT”S ANOTHER MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY!
Stargardt disease causes progressive damage to the center of the retina, the area responsible for sharp straight-ahead vision. Usually discovered during childhood or adolescence, the disease has no cure.
Driving a dog sled doesn’t sound like such a great idea for someone who has the disease. Just don’t tell McKenna that. With her eyesight getting worse, she’s been challenged to compete in a sled dog race.
Mushers on the ready. We’re off.
Publisher Background for DOG DRIVEN:
McKenna Barney is trying to hide her worsening eyesight and has been isolating herself for the last year. But at the request of her little sister, she signs up for a commemorative mail run race in the Canadian wilderness—a race she doesn’t know if she can even see to run.
Winning would mean getting her disease—and her sister’s—national media coverage, but it would also pit McKenna and her team of eight sled dogs against racers from across the globe for three days of shifting lake ice, sudden owl attacks, snow squalls, and bitterly cold nights.
A page-turning adventure about living with disability and surviving the wilderness, Dog Driven is the story of one girl’s self-determination and the courage it takes to trust in others.
Page Count: 240 Publish Date: December 3, 2019
My Take: The first person narration covers 35 chapters. Perfect for those teachers who keep asking me for books with short chapters, ones they can read aloud with five minutes left before the bell. DOG DRIVEN not only fills that request, but it’s also exciting, revealing, and heartwarming.
Stargardt is not an eye disease I was familiar with and was glad to learn about it through each challenge McKenna must face. The scenes depicting the journey and how the musher must become one with her dogs were beautifully portrayed. The journey is an endeavor like none other filled with icy dangers and chaotic stopping points. McKenna’s plight and the personality of each dog draw the story to a satisfying close—although one you might not expect.
You can’t go wrong on a cold winter day by grabbing a copy of DOG DRIVEN and immersing yourself in the world of dog sledding. It will be a hard one to put down. But we’re not to the finish line yet, because here’s…
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
DOG DRIVEN by Terry Lynn Johnson
- The secondary characters and their dog teams played a major role in the plot. Guy, with four generations of running dogs and Harper who has the best set of sled dogs. They help McKenna in ways only she can see.
- Letters from the present and past appear between many of the chapters. Those from the late 1800s were especially revealing to the difficult nature of delivering mail via dog sled.
- McKenna’s internal struggle is realistically portrayed along with how she chooses a course of action.
- An adventure story like this could get bogged down with details about the disease. Instead, Stargardts maintains a nice balance with friendships, family, the huge three day trip, and all the preparation needed for a dog sledding competition.
- The conflict her parents have over the way to handle their daughters’ future added to the suspense and tension throughout.
GIVEAWAY!!! Win your own copy of this amazing story by making a comment below (Even an I’m in! is okay). One lucky winner will receive a copy of Dog Driven, courtesy of HMH Books for Young Readers (U.S. addresses).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terry Lynn Johnson, author of Ice Dogs, Sled Dog School, and the Survivor Diaries series, lives in Whitefish Falls, Ontario where for ten years she owned a team of eighteen Alaskan Huskies. Learn more at terrylynnjohnson.com. Twitter: @TerryLynnJ
The winner of my previous giveaway to win a copy of the stunning new ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN INDIAN HISTORY AND CULTURE is Antoinette Truglio Martin. She blogs over at Stories Served Around the Table. Congratulations Antoinette!