Most young girls' experiences never involve hunting bearded seals on the ice, even within the Alaskan Eskimo culture. In Scott O'Dell's gripping novel, Bright Dawn is an exception. In her father's eyes, she became his son's replacement ever since her brother drowned. When Bright Dawn is 18 years old, her father, recently injured, insists that she take his place in the Iditarod, the famous Alaskan dogsled race covering more than a thousand miles between Anchorage and Nome. Unflinching, yet trembling in her mukluks, she faces her challenge head-on.
Bright Dawn proves herself to be a strong, courageous heroine--crossing rivers, mountain ranges, and vast stretches of frozen tundra--with her team of dogs, including the lead Black Star. While the rush of wind and relentless, blinding stretches of ice are exhilarating, the dangers involved make Bright Dawn realize that it's not only the race, but her life that she's entrusting to her team of dogs. O'Dell, author of the Newbery Award-winning Island of the Blue Dolphins, has created an intense, suspenseful, clearly written adventure story that's sure to capture the imagination of young readers and take them for a blustery ride. (Ages 9 to 12) [via]