Review: Ice Dogs by Jerry Lynn Johnson


I am super excited to introduce this book to you today. It is one of my favorite middle grade/younger YA books so far this year. I had a TON of fun reading it and I hop that you do too!

About the Book:

Ice Dogs by Jerry Lynn Johnson

Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (February 4, 2014)

Series: None

Genre: Survival

Source: From author for review

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


Victoria Secord, a fourteen-year-old
Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs.
With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and that of her
dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods is entirely up to

The author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself,
and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and
Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their
wilderness adventure.

About the Author:

Terry Lynn Johnson has a passion for sled dogs. Her own adventures
with her team of eighteen Alaskan Huskies have provided her with a rich
background to write from.

She’s an award winning member of the
Outdoor Writers of Canada, and she recently won the Maxwell Medallion of
Excellence from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Ice Dogs, February 4, 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a Junior Library Guild Selection

Terry lives in Whitefish Falls, Ontario. Visit her at

My Thoughts:

The never ending love between a girl and her dogs. The fight to survive
the harsh conditions of Alaska’s wilderness. A friendship found in an
unlikely way. All of these things are why I loved Ice Dogs so
much. I’ve always been a fan of survival stories, especially if they
involve animals, and this book did not disappoint. It was fast paced and
riveting. Once I picked the book up, I didn’t set it down again until I

Vicky is an interesting character. She is stubborn and grouchy, but
those traits also help her survive. She deals with a lot of heartache
over losing her father and her depleted relationship with her mother.
Her unusual friendship with Chris helps her deal with everything she’s
feeling and gives her another reason to push forward, even when she
feels like giving up.

The dogs, understandably, play a huge role in the book, and I loved the
relationship Vicky had with her lead dog, Bean. Vicky looks out for her
dogs and they look out for her. But the author doesn’t try to deceive
the reader—she paints the sled dogs in a realistic light. They are not
docile, and they do not stop running just because their owner has toppled off
the sled. They get distracted easily and are the cause of a lot of
troubles on the trail. However, their love for Vicky is unmatched and
they are her and Chris’ only means for getting out of the wilderness,
and their survival. The dogs save the two teens just as often than they get
them into trouble.

My one and only reservation on the book is the innuendo. Even though the
main character is fourteen, this is still a middle grade novel. There
isn’t much innuendo, but there is some, and I like my middle grade books
squeaky clean.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes
survival or animal stories, but I would also suggest parents read it
first to make sure it’s appropriate for your child.

Verdict: Awesome!

Content: Some innuendo (no kissing)

Source: The author sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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