Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Dog Driven

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Dog Driven (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2019) by Terry Lynn Johnson is quite the scary adventure.

It’s risky enough for any teen to participate in the Canadian Great Superior Mail Run dog race, but for fourteen-year-old McKenna, who has hidden her deteriorating sight from her family, it could mean death for her and her dogs. But she is determined to win this race to encourage her younger sister Emma in her battle with Stargardt, an eye disease. Afterwards, she’ll tell her parents about her vision problems. And maybe she can help eight-year-old Emma gain some independence, too.

The author puts you right on the trail with McKenna and her dogs so you hear and feel what’s going on. As I said above, it’s scary to see what McKenna risks, but her determination is believable. Plus there are letters from the late 1800s about this mail run that increase the tension of the story.

Earlier I recommended her award winning book, Ice Dogs. I missed reading Falcon Wild, which I need to catch up with. Her newest book, is Rescue at Lake Wild–coming soon. Read about Terry Lynn Johnson here.

Note: Dog Driven is aimed at ages ten to sixteen according to the publisher.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Waiting for Unicorns

waitingforunicorns.jpgWaiting for Unicorns (Philomel, 2015) by Beth Hautala is a story of loss, loneliness and hope. (We may not all have a wish jar as the main character does, but we all know what wishing is like!)
When twelve-year-old Talia McQuinn moves north with her father she talks about leaving as “Watching things slip away from you until your insides ache and everything feels backward.” But it’s not just a simple move to a new town for Talia and her father. Instead, she’s going from one culture to another. And she’ll have to face it alone since her father will be out hunting whales, and her mother is dead.
This was author Beth Hautala’s first book.
She has recently sold her second book The Ostrich and Other Lost Things also to Philomel for publication in 2017. Read more on her website.