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WINTER CAMP by Kirkpatrick Hill


by Kirkpatrick Hill

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1993
ISBN: 0-689-50588-4
Publisher: McElderry

 Again, two young Athabascan Indians, Toughboy and Sister (1990), survive the rigors of the Alaskan wilderness. The brother and sister are now living with old Natasha, who took them in at the conclusion of book one; in October, she takes them out of school for a few weeks of trapping and to teach them the old ways at her remote camp. When an elderly friend is badly injured by a moose, Natasha takes his dog team to get help, leaving Toughboy and Sister to care for him. Hill keeps up the suspense with incidents such as Sister falling through the ice, the emergency presented by a broken window in the bitter cold, and the unremitting struggle to cut enough wood for the fire. The logistics of survival as described by this Alaskan are particularly authentic; a more contemporary touch is Sister's revulsion against trapping (its cruelty is effectively dramatized when their own dog is accidentally trapped). In the end, after a helicopter comes to the rescue, Sister reflects that, though Natasha believes the old ways are best, new ones have their place. The outcome is never really in doubt here, but the portrayal of these competent, courageous children battling the intense cold is compelling. (Fiction. 8-12)