An Alaskan sled dog narrates her adventures.
Sojo, born in Alaska, is not sure she wants to be a sled dog. Everyone says she is beautiful, so she thinks she may want to be a show dog instead. But Pam, Sojo’s white human who raises sled dogs, has plans to cross the 2,500 miles of Arctic tundra alone with her dog sled team, and Sojo is picked. Sojo’s narrative voice as she relates the Arctic adventure—the main thrust of the book—is jaunty, with just the right amount of goofiness to appeal to young readers’ sensibilities, while Farnsworth’s black-and-white illustrations add charm. What is notable about the story is its sterling ring of authenticity. The many details of what it takes in both planning and, er, doggedness to mush across frozen tundra during Arctic winters are fascinating. Since it is Sojo narrating, there isn’t much waxing poetic about natural beauty; instead there is action, action, action. Lessons about teamwork and courage are doled out, but they are strictly in service to the story. Readers will come to understand the loyalty and camaraderie between Pam and her dog sled team as well as the absolute dependence each species has on the other for survival in the harsh environment.
An action-filled story about dog sledding and teamwork presented in just the right way for its readership. (Adventure. 8-12)