Monday, January 14, 2013
Middle School Monday: Edge of Nowhere by John Smelcer
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Summary from Goodreads.com "An astonishing tale of survival in Alaska, this poignant Robinson Crusoe story is based on true events A year after his mother dies, 16-year old Seth and his dog, Tucker, are washed overboard from his father's fishing boat during a torrential storm, and are assumed drowned. But by good fortune, Seth and Tucker make it safely to one of the hundreds of islands that line the Alaskan coast. Over many months, the two castaways endure hardships to survive off the land and the sea as they make their way, island by island, toward home. More than an adventure novel, this is a story about reconciliation, about heritage, and about struggling to deal with grief."
I enjoyed this book, and read it all in one sitting. Seth and his father are both grieving - Seth's mom was killed in an automobile accident over a year ago. Seth has buried his grief in fast food, video games, and solitude. After an argument on the boat, Seth's father angrily shouts "You wouldn't last a day in the wilderness". When Seth and his dog, Tucker, are swept off the boat, and swim to a small island, they begin a journey of survival on the Alaskan coast, encountering killer whales, bears, and other wildlife. Seth rediscovers his Alutiiq heritage, and begins to remember stories and words that his grandmother taught him before she died.
If you enjoyed reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, and like outdoor adventure - Edge of Nowhere by John Smelcer is the book for you! John Smelcer has written over 40 books, including The Trap and The Great Death. He has also written several native mythology books, and several pieces on how the Exxon Valdez oil spill affected the Prince William sound in Alaska.