cover image Ice Dogs

Ice Dogs

Terry Lynn Johnson. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-547-89926-8

Johnson’s second novel about dogsledding, after 2010’s Dogsled Dreams, is a page-turner full of white-knuckle action. Fourteen-year-old Vicky Secord is determined to win the White Wolf Classic to solidify her late father’s legacy as an expert musher. She misses him deeply and has thrown herself into mushing, neglecting her social life and resenting her mother, who Vicky is certain wants to leave Alaska for Seattle. During what was supposed to be a quick trip on the sled Vicky encounters a young stranger collapsed in the snow after a snowmobile accident. As Chris recovers, he reveals himself to be a smart aleck fresh in from Toronto with no knowledge of the outdoors. When their map is lost as a result of carelessness on Chris’s part, they are lost for days with only Vicky’s persistence and memories of her father’s wisdom to save them. The unlikely team’s bickering (and chemistry), the risks inherent to the wilderness, and the dogs’ personalities are all skillfully rendered. Readers will be riveted until the end. Ages 10–up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)