Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Yellow Dog

Publish December 2, 2016

Thirteen-year-old Jeremy Cook is horrified when a cruel prank injures the dog of an elderly man who lives in an isolated cabin on the outskirts of Poplar Point, Saskatchewan. As Jeremy tries to make amends, he finds himself strangely drawn to the man, his fluffy yellow dog, and his stories about life on the trap lines. Jeremy is hooked by the stories and the lifestyle, and with the old man’s help, begins to assemble and train his own dogsled team. But not everyone supports his new obsession. Jeremy’s mother is reluctant to allow him to visit the old man, and absolutely forbids Jeremy to take his team into the bush. Jeremy’s best friend Justin has troubles at home, and takes his pain out on the neighbourhood animals – including Jeremy’s dogs. When the annual stray dog cull – “dog-shooting day”- rolls around, Jeremy realizes the extent of Justin’s anger, and doesn’t know if he should be scared of Justin or for him. An exhilarating ride through the icy wilderness of Northern Saskatchewan, Miriam Körner’s Yellow Dog is a beautiful exploration of a traditional way of life that is quickly becoming extinct. A coming of age novel for middle school readers, Yellow Dog pays homage to the classic wilderness stories of Jack London and Farley Mowat. Jeremy is an engaging and sympathetic hero whose narration touches on problems experienced by many remote communities – poverty, domestic violence, and an unreliable water supply. Yet Yellow Dog is ultimately an uplifting tale that highlights the healing power of animals, and the importance of honouring one’s heritage.

Yellow Dog

Miriam Körner
Red Deer Press
ISBN 13: 978-0-88995-546-2

Karen Doerksen
Karen Doerksen Karen Doerksen lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with her husband and four children. She works for the Edmonton Public Library, and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta.  

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