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Erin and her science project partner Tiffany become lost in the snow-covered Sierra mountains when Erin leads them on a trek to find her missing babysitter.
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Lucy Jane Bledsoe is a novelist and science writer. When she's not writing, she's sea kayaking in Alaska, backpacking in the Rockies, or backcountry skiing in the Sierras. When she's not kayaking, hiking, or skiing, she's reading.
Her fiction has won a California Arts Council Individual Fellowship in Literature, an American Library Association Award for Literature, and has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. She's also won a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, a National Endowment for the Humanities Youthgrant, a Barbara Deming Memorial Money for Women grant, a Puffin Foundation grant, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers in Antarctica Fellowships. She was recently awarded a Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship as well.
Bledsoe has traveled to Antarctica three times. The first two times she went as a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Artists & Writers in Antarctica fellowship, living and working at McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, as well as in field camps in the Transantarctic mountains. She spent time with scientists studying penguins, seals, global warming, and the Big Bang.
Grade 4-6. A straightforward tale of wilderness survival. Erin Flaherty, 10, and her science partner, Tiffany, set off into the snowy forest near their California mountain town, purportedly to find animal tracks for a school project. Erin is troubled by the disappearance of her 16-year-old babysitter, Amy, and believes that she may have hidden in a remote miner's cabin rather than face a move to Arizona. When the girls see boot tracks in the snow, Erin reluctantly confesses to Tiffany that her real agenda is locating Amy; to her surprise, Tiffany agrees to help. As a blizzard gathers, common sense dictates returning home, but their reckless determination leads them onward. A sprained ankle forces them to spend the night in the woods. The next morning, their plight worsens as they discover they are lost, matchless, hungry, and threatened by hypothermia and predators. The girls must rely solely on their wits to survive. Tiffany grows more confident in the face of adversity and discovers her essential self; she decides to reclaim her real Vietnamese name, Hoa Tran. Amy is finally found, nearly dead from exposure. Although they have all been through a difficult ordeal, Erin can see clearly the contrast between her and Hoa's strength?borne of elemental survival?and Amy's sad, frightened condition. The ending is abrupt, affording no encounter between the lost girls and their parents, but the simplicity and intensity of this adventure will satisfy many children, particularly those who like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (S & S, 1987).?Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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