Wednesday, December 7, 2011
ICE ISLAND by Sherry Shahan (RANDOM HOUSE, 2012).
Riveting and atmospheric, this is a tale of teenage Tatum, who becomes lost and separated from her friend on an Alaskan island with only a team of dogs, a few supplies and her instincts to keep her alive. Thirteen-year-old Tatum's dream is to run the Iditarod. She and her mother travel from Nome, Alaska, to a remote, frozen island for her mother's job. There, Tatum meets Cole, a boy who shares her obsession with dog mushing. One morning, they head out with two dog teams for a practice run with Tatum’s beloved husky, Bandit, leading her sled. In vivid, crisp prose, the story accelerates as they veer off course and are enveloped in a blinding storm. Cole and Tatum rely on their training and resourcefulness as they face hunger and below-freezing temperatures. One particularly hair-raising event finds them on a frozen river surrounded by cracking ice. Tatum must eventually leave Cole behind and venture on for help alone. With time running out, Tatum has only her courage and her loving trust of the dogs to keep her from succumbing to the harsh elements and her fear. Told a fast-paced third-person, this survival adventure creates an almost otherworldly experience within a treacherous and bracingly beautiful landscape. As a race for survival, this is also an exhilarating sprint through the pages. (author’s note, glossary) (Adventure. 9-13)