After the stutter of violence of Alice and Me's (1973) mad sniper, this story reduces trouble to the cold whims of the elements and a canoeing accident in the Adirondacks of the '20's, when Elizabeth and her brother Tim are on a trip with their father. After cascading over the falls, Tim's father is left with a broken leg and then contracts pneumonia -- an organic diet of spruce tea, nettles and white grubs notwithstanding. He dies and the youngsters proceed by compass, happen on an old trapper's cabin with some provisions, shoot a bear and finally an escaped convict. The book and the youngsters win out on their own merit and there's that ageless appeal (up and down) of resourcefulness, resilience and endurance while death is nipping at frostbitten heels. With the right amount of sentiment to sneak up on you from behind a rock.