Dog Driven

Dog DrivenDog sledding is McKenna s whole life, but she s been pulling away from it, and her friends, and her family, due to issues she s been having with her vision McKenna s younger sister was recently diagnosed with Stargardt s disease, a genetic cause of macular degeneration McKenna has seen what Emma s diagnosis has done to her parents, the fighting it has caused, they way they baby her McKenna is afraid to tell anyone about what is happening to her own vision, for fear that she will also go through all of that So when Emma begs McKenna to compete in the three day Mail Courier dog sled race in northern Ontario, McKenna reluctantly agrees But can a low vision, teen age dogsledder make it through the wilderness alone Highly recommended for grades 4 up.ARC provided by publisher I finished this one with tears in my eyes So many great messages in this book I can t wait to share this book with my students Thank you to Terry Lynn Johnson HMH Kids for sharing an ARC with our bookexpedition group McKenna, now 14, has been a dog musher since she was in first grade Her younger sister Emma begs her to be in the Great Superior Mail race that follows a route previously used by mail carries to deliver letters Emma hopes McKenna s run will help bring awareness to an eye condition she has known as Stargardt disease However, McKenna has a secret she s been hiding from her family her vision is deteriorating, too Soon McKenna sets out into the Canadian Wilderness for the three day race She ll battle owls, rough terrain, intense weather conditions, and most importantly, grapple with the issue of her worsening vision I loved how the relationship between dog handlers and their dogs is shown, and I learned quite a bit of information about dog racing With themes of determination and compassion, this faced paced MG novel will leave readers on the edge of their seats Johnson wonderfully balances the adventuring with the interspersing of information on how McKenna s visual difficulties have been affecting her at school, with her friends and in her day to day life There are even explanations about how the diagnosis is made and real life classroom situations that highlight the adaptive vision enhancing equipment that can be used McKenna experiences her share of hardships, worries, and concerns during the race Early on she losses her protective eyeglasses and has a startling encounter with an owl losing her mailbag Yet, McKenna also takes on each of these challenges with a positive outlook and is determined to persevere and to overcome them During the race, McKenna does receive help from two of the other competitors and I so enjoyed the playful competitiveness that she shares with fellow musher Guy Although they all are in a race it s nice to see them sharing gear and helping each other out Most of all I loved McKenna s ingenuity and the strategy she devises to get her through the last leg of the race Dog Driven was an absolutely riveting story It makes for a wonderful wintery time read with lots of action, adventure and I highly recommend it I received an E ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review ARC provided by Blue Slip MediaMcKenna s family keeps sled dogs, since her mother was a musher when she was young, and McKenna loves to race Her mother, however, is busy taking care of her younger sister, Emma, whose sight is limited due to the effects of Stargardt Disease This is an inherited condition, and McKenna has started to realize the tell tale signs that she herself is developing it Despite this, she is determined to participate in the Great Superior Mail Run race across the Canadian wilderness because her sister wants her to McKenna has been hiding her symptoms from her family and friends for months, determined not to be treated with the care her sister is afforded, which signals weakness to her If she can pretend nothing is wrong, the way people treat her won t change Still, the race is challenging, and she is beginning to doubt herself Luckily, when she gets involved in the race, she gets help at various points from two mushers, Guy and Harper Guy s family has raced dogs for generations, and he hopes to bring business to his father s failing delivery concern by winning the race Harper s father wants her to win for much the same reason While Guy enjoys racing, Harper does not For a long time, McKenna is able to hide her condition from them, but eventually has to tell them when things go wrong with the race Strengths In addition to wonderful details about sled dog racing in the frigid Canadian wilderness, this shows McKenna s realistic internal struggle about her impending dimunition of sight Part of me thought that no child would fail to tell their parents about a serious health concern, but the writing made me believe her motivations I wish there were books about children not wanting to appear weak The friendships with Harper, and especially with Guy, were a nice touch, because they were all able to help each other even though they were competing, and helping each other out made the race a pleasant and successful competition which reminder me of this track and field event years ago Even the detail of McKenna s parents having a different reaction to Emma s challenges and fighting about it was oddly interesting Of course, the excitement and action of the race keeps the health concerns from slowing down the story Great mix of things Weaknesses There are a selection of historical and modern letters between chapters that didn t seem to add much to the story Vaguely interesting, but I always wanted to get back to McKenna What I really think My first reaction to reading a book by Johnson is always to think Wow She writes a MUCH better survival dog sled book than Gary Paulsen Seriously Paulsen has untapped depths for humorous books, but Johnson is the new leader of the pack for books set in the Canadian wilderness I love that most of her books are stand alones, and the covers are always fantastic I had to buy a replacement copy for Ice Dogs 2014 because it was in tatters This one will be just as popular, and I loved it in the strange way I loved Butler s 1962 Light a Single Candle. I loved reading Terry Lynn Johnson s earlier book Ice Dogs, so I was pretty excited to get a copy of Dog Driven to read And I wasn t disappointed, in fact, I couldn t put it down.McKenna Barney, 14, knows there is something wrong with her eyesight, but she s worked hard to hid it from everyone, even at the cost of dropping out of favorite activities and alienating her best friend But McKenna still has some sight, especially peripheral vision, though she knows she will have to give up her beloved dog sledding at some point However, after seeing how overprotective her mother is with her young sister Emma, 8, doing everything for her and not allowing her to gain any independence, McKenna isn t ready to lose her freedom, too.For now, though, there s one race and Emma, who has been dealing with Stargardt disease, which is juvenile macular degeneration, for most of her short life, manages to talk McKenna into entering The Great Superior Mail Race is important to Emma, because the mushers will follow the route of the long ago Canadian mail couriers, delivering mail that will be stamped Delivered by Dog Team on them and it is open to mushers age 14 and up Emma s plan is to write a letter to the Foundation for Fighting Blindness, asking for research to be done on Stargardt disease And she figures, if sister McKenna wins the race, surely her letter will be read aloud on TV But when Emma figures out that McKenna also has Stargardt s, the sisters make a deal if McKenna doesn t deliver Emma s letter, they will tell their parents about her loss of vision.McKenna is an experienced musher and knows her dogs well, but even so, it is a dangerous race through the Canadian wilderness Luckily, she meets two other young mushers who help her along the way Harper doesn t like sled dog racing but her father wanted her to do this race, convinced it would change her mind about it There have been mushers in her family for generations, the family is well off and her dogs are top notch Guy, pronounced Gee, also comes from a long line of dog sledders, but now his mother has passed away, and his father wants to give up the dogs to save money as his delivery service flounders Guy is hoping to win the race and perhaps get his father s a contract with , which would mean keeping the dogs to make deliveries with.McKenna, Harper, and Guy are the only teens in the race, and I guess I was a little surprised they didn t know each other already, but that aside, they did develop a nice friendship, often helping each other when needed But it is still a race they all have a reason to want to win and McKenna s eye condition is becoming obvious Will either new friend take advantage of McKenna s condition to win.Dog Driven is, to say the least, an action packed nail baiter The story is narrated by McKenna so the reader knows exactly what is going on in her head as she struggles with the fact of losing her sight At the same time, the reader also sees everything happening through her eyes, which realistically includes the difficulty she has seeing most of the time Loss of vision under normal circumstances is difficult, but under the circumstances of dog sledding in the Canadian wilderness is downright perilous But McKenna has a wonderful relationship with her dogs, and knows and trusts them to do what a good sled dog would.I really liked McKenna s and her sister s relationship, too, and I could completely understand why McKenna didn t want her parents to know about her deteriorating eyesight She sees how her mother does everything for her sister, and won t let her develop the skills she needs to be independent.The race is a competition and McKenna, Guy, and Harper each have their own personal reasons for entering it, but it was nice to see how they were still able to become friends and even help each other out when needed And the details of what the weather and terrain conditions are like for a race like this are amazingly real, probably because Johnson was at one time a dog sledder herself I have to admit, the idea of being out on part of a frozen Lake Superior is not my idea of fun, but it certainly made for exciting reading There is a map at the beginning of the book that shows the route the mushers took, so that you can see exactly where McKenna throughout the race I found myself referring to it frequentlyOne other thing throughout the story are letters that take the reader back to when the mail was being delivered by dog sled only, as well as some modern letters the racers are carrying for the competition I could have enjoyed this book thoroughly without them, but they are at least brief.Dog Driven is a book that completely took me out of my life as a NYC girl, and put me into a totally different world It was a wonderful experience, and I can t recommend reading it highly enough.You can find out about Stargardt Disease HEREThis book is recommended for readers age 10 This book was a ARC gratefully received from Blue Slip Media The author of Ice Dogs is back with another book that shows once again how much she knows about dogs, in particular sled dogs in this action packed novel suitable for middle grade or high school readers Fourteen year old McKenna Barney has watched how her parents treat her little sister, Emma, after she has been diagnosed with Stargardt s disease While her father seems to be in denial, her mother does almost everything for Emma, denying her the chance for independence When McKenna realizes that her own vision is deteriorating and she most likely has the disease as well, she withdraws from her friends and most activities in order to hide the truth To bring attention to the disease and as part of a deal with her sister, McKenna enters a grueling sled race along the shores of Lake Superior with her eight sled dogs I was impressed with her independence and determination and how much trust she had in her dogs and they had in her, but I was also worried about her during the entire journey More than once, she risked her life and those of her dogs because she could barely see, and some might have easily regarded her actions as foolhardy The fact that one of the other competitors, Guy Desjardins, quickly realized that her vision was impaired but still supported her efforts, tells readers that her parents must surely have not been paying attention to her or not admitting what they had been seeing all along Readers will feel the freezing air and experience those ups and downs as the dog teams head to the finish line, and they will surely be impressed with this young woman s fondness for her dogs and careful tending to their needs They never let her down as she doggedly refuses to quit, no matter how challenging the obstacles Anyone looking for something a little bit different but that is fast paced and filled with exciting moments on almost every page will find this book satisfying and root for McKenna to finish that race The letter excerpts from members of Emma s class and a relative of Guy s were a bit jarring at first, but they added to the race s historical significance and make readers think about how difficult travel and exploration must have been a century or so ago. Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book.Great book I really loved this one from the beginning Faced paced, full of action and suspense This one will grab even reluctant readers I had trouble putting this one down Will be recommending this to students at school as well as teachers as a read aloud. As a mushing enthusiast with a serious addiction to the printed word, I ve been reading Terry Lynn Johnson s books since her first sled dog themed novel, Dogsled Dreams in 2011 When I found out earlier this year that she was working on a new book, I was excited but thought there was no way she could top Ice Dogs , with its gripping storyline and well rounded, realistic characters, both human and canine.I was wrong, and glad to be so Dog Driven is even better than Ice Dogs Not only does it have the enjoyable hurly burly of the racing world in all its noisy, messy, wonderfully hectic detail, but it has on trail adventure oh, that windstorm , competition related challenges if three mushers NEED to win the race, but of course only one of them CAN win, what happens to the other two s hopes , and a protagonist who, despite battling the disease that s already stolen most of her sister s sight and all of her independence, is braver than she knows Add in a competitor whose lead dog provides incidental inspiration, parents who are as loving yet flawed as only parents can be, and an uplifting yet realistic ending because it s only in the movies that our heroine would have WON the race , and you have a recipe for a book that everyone, young adult or grownup, will read cover to cover.Even the letters that preface many of the chapters help to tie the plotline together, as several are from a main character s great great grandfather, while others are from people whose letters are being carried by the mushers during the race While it would be tempting to skip them, doing so would take away some of the book s context.I deliberately didn t name characters in this review and kept things a bit vague because I don t want to give away any spoilers so in closing, I ll just say If you haven t read it already, go get a copy of Dog Driven Well done, Ms Johnson, again. From The Author Of Ice Dogs, Comes A Riveting Adventure About A Musher Who Sets Out To Prove Her Impaired Vision Won T Hold Her Back From Competing In A Rigorous Sled Race Through The Canadian Wilderness Perfect For Fans Of Gary PaulsenMcKenna Barney Is Trying To Hide Her Worsening Eyesight And Has Been Isolating Herself For The Last Year But At The Request Of Her Little Sister, She Signs Up For A Commemorative Mail Run Race In The Canadian Wilderness A Race She Doesn T Know If She Can Even See To Run Winning Would Mean Getting Her Disease And Her Sister S National Media Coverage, But It Would Also Pit McKenna And Her Team Of Eight Sled Dogs Against Racers From Across The Globe For Three Days Of Shifting Lake Ice, Sudden Owl Attacks, Snow Squalls, And Bitterly Cold Nights A Page Turning Adventure About Living With Disability And Surviving The Wilderness, Dog Driven Is The Story Of One Girl S Self Determination And The Courage It Takes To Trust In Others

Terry Lynn Johnson writes outdoor adventures inspired by her own team of eighteen Alaskan huskies Her passion for adventure has provided her with a rich background to write from.When she s not writing, Terry enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and kayaking She works as a Conservation Officer Game Warden in Whitefish Falls, Ontario.She is represented by Caryn Wiseman of the Andrea Brown Literary

[Reading] ➹ Dog Driven ➯ Terry Lynn Johnson –
  • Hardcover
  • 240 pages
  • Dog Driven
  • Terry Lynn Johnson
  • 18 September 2018

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