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WILDERNESS by Roddy Doyle


by Roddy Doyle

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-439-02356-6
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Doyle neatly splits his narrative in two with this dual look at huskies and raw adolescent angst. When sullen teen Grainne’s real mother returns to Ireland from America, step-mom Sandra and her sons decide to give the newly reunited pair some room. They hightail it to Finland where 12-year-old Johnny and ten-year-old Tom will accompany their mother on a wild dogsled trek. The two have a fabulous time until the night their mother’s sled doesn’t join with the other adventurers at the end of a run. Immediately they decide that finding Sandra is up to them and so head out into the frozen night. In the story lines of both Grainne and the boys, finding your mother is a simultaneously painful and deeply rewarding process. The rough-and-tumble nature of siblings, with all its love and casual cruelty, comes through loud and clear in Doyle’s crisp prose. Though the variegated ages of the characters may give this title difficulty finding its audience, the story is a pleasure to discover. (Fiction. 11-14)