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Book Review

This animal adventure by John Reynolds Gardiner is published by Harper Trophy, an imprint of Harper Publishers and is written for kids ages 7 to 11. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Willy's grandfather becomes severely depressed and incapacitated. Willy tries to save their potato farm. In an effort to win $500, he enters a local sled-dog race with his canine companion Searchlight. He stands little chance against a disgruntled American Indian known as Stone Fox. The Indian and his team of Samoyeds have never lost a race — but Willy refuses to give up.

Christian Beliefs

The old church in the center of town simply serves as a landmark for Willy as he races.

Other Belief Systems

Willy adopts his grandfather's philosophy that "there are some things in this world worth dying for." This refers to his country, nature and animals.

Authority Roles

Willy's grandfather has raised him with wisdom, discipline and manners. (Willy's parents are not around.) However, during Grandfather's illness, Willy assumes the authority role by caring for Grandfather and their farm. Adults in town offer help, too. Willy, mostly, is respectful to them, though he does lie to protect Stone Fox when they ask Willy how he got hurt.

Profanity/Violence

The doctor uses the word darn.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes


Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

7 to 11

Author

John Reynolds Gardiner

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Harper Trophy, an imprint of Harper Publishers

Released

On Video

Year Published

2010

Awards

Publishers Weekly No.72 top-selling paperbacks, Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award, The New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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