JOHN MUIR AND STICKEEN by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff


An Alaskan Adventure
Age Range: 7 - 10
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A dramatic retelling of an episode from renowned naturalist Muir’s memoirs, set to equally dramatic, if somewhat jumbled illustrations. Having set off one morning to explore a glacier with only a hatchet, a compass, and, for companionship, an intrepid terrier named Stickeen, Muir spends an exhilarating day, enduring freezing winds and treacherous ice, leaping ever-wider crevasses, and finally having to scramble across a narrow ice bridge to get back to camp—with Stickeen matching him feat for feat. Muir later dubbed it his favorite adventure ever. Swanson matches the tale’s melodramatic language—“With every step they face danger. With every step they face death. Freezing. Hungry. Wet”— with scenes of the lightly dressed, rugged-looking explorer and his diminutive canine shadow picking their way across indistinct, oddly twisted crystalline formations that fail to illustrate the action. Still, this makes an engrossing survival tale, and provides unusual insight into Muir’s character. (afterword) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7613-2769-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Millbrook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2003


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