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In Dog Driven by real-life, Canadian dogsled musher, and conservation officer Terry Lynn Johnson, we have the story of a 16 year old girl who is going blind of an inherited, incurable condition called Stargadt Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration. And yet, for the sake of her sister who is already blind of the same disease, she is taking her dog team on a race along the Lake Superior shore travelling the historic mail delivery trail from Sault Ste Marie to White River Ontario, a distance of 354 kilometers or 200 miles. In the dead of winter, in a blizzard, and don’t forget she is nearly blind and yet trying to hide this disability so her parents don’t pull her from the race. The sisters want to use her hoped-for win in the race to draw attention to the need for research on Stargadt disease.


Because Terry Lynn Johnson really does own a dog sled team, really does participate in dogsled races and really does live in Northern Ontario near where this race takes place, the real elements of this harrowing absolutely thrilling and amazing book ring so true you might have trouble breathing. And wrap yourself up in a warm blanket with a hot cup of tea beside you because as she races through blizzards and over the wind-driven frozen ice of the shores of Lake Superior you may find yourself chilled to the bone.


What a story! Intelligently written both for the heart and the mind, this story helps us feel the fear of impending blindness, the possible loss of independence, and the competitive drive of dog sledding. The deep emotional connection between owner and dogs would have been a wonderful story just on its own, but when wrapped up in the race, with the other teen age race participants, and with our heroine in the leading five racers while racing without much vision, this book is a triple win.  


Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this book will make any competitive or dog loving teen happy. It should be available in every Canadian bookstore and library, And it is also available from the and links that I have placed above in the comment section. Please subscribe and hit the notification bell to hear all the Great Books for Kids Reviewed by Michelle Marcotte on