Mother Nature battles a girl and her motley crew of sled dogs to a draw in the frozen landscape of eastern Ontario.
Forecasts of a winter storm send Hannah’s Army Reservist father to answer the call of duty, igniting a series of poor choices and near misses for his teenage daughter. In a fit of pique over spending school holidays at the family’s rural cabin, Hannah accidentally breaks her mother’s supply of insulin ampoules. Accompanied by a guilty conscience and four family dogs, Hannah sets out to save the day by dog sledding to the nearest neighbor for help. Unfortunately, the first leg of her endeavor ends with Hannah being greeted by a rifle-wielding woman having combat flashbacks. Hannah escapes with her life and Peter, a recalcitrant teenage passenger whose main contributions to the mission are sarcasm and his ability to start a fire. Anything that could go wrong does, but Hannah keeps moving forward in a learn-as-you-go adventure where only the two lead dogs have any idea what they’re doing. Below zero temperatures do nothing to warm us to either Hannah or Peter, whose snarly personalities wear as thin as the ice one of the dogs falls through. Hannah’s mother is Korean and her father is white; other characters follow a white default.
A winter adventure that should have skipped a print version and gone straight to TV as an after-school special. (Fiction. 12-14)