The Book Reviews – Website

January 17, 2009

Ice Drift

Ice Drift

Author: Theodore Taylor

Page Length: 224

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Realistic Fiction     

PLOT SUMMARY: Alika and Sulu are brothers who are out seal fishing in the Arctic when they feel the floe they are standing on breakaway from the land.  Alika, the older of the two, quickly frees all of his dog sled team, so that they can swim back to the mainland and hopefully get back to the village.  Alika and Sulu are part of the Inuit population that inhabits Greenland.  The boys are stranded on the floating piece of ice.  Aware that they may not be rescued for weeks or months, Alika uses his knowledge of survival skills that he has learned from his dad.  The boys build an igloo and make provisions with the supplies that were on the sled. 

When the dogs of the sled team return to the village, the boy’s parents realize what has happened.  They make futile rescue attempts and because the father’s leg is broken, their mom attempts to travel in a kayak to find the boys down the river.  She is again unsuccessful, but the two young men continue to fight for survival on the broken iceberg.

REVIEW: This story is about life in the Arctic Circle and is full of information about the native animals and the harsh seasons of days with no light and wind blowing blizzards.  Each of the characters learns about themselves and their ability to survive and what is essentially important in life.  This is a great book of adventure and suspense for boys who enjoy realistic fiction.

AREAS OF TEACHING: Sequence of Events, Cause/Effect, Theme, and Setting

RELATED BOOKS: The Sign of the Beaver, Iceberg Hermit, and The Night of the Twisters

MOVIE CONNECTIONS: Arctic Tale (2007)

REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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