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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Braving It

Give me a wilderness story, a roughing it story, a backwoods story any day, I'll read it and I'll probably love it. That held true with Braving It by James Campbell. A father, a daughter, and an unforgettable journey into the Alaskan Wild. 

When James and his daughter flew up to Alaska to help his cousin, Heimo build a cabin in the wilderness of Alaska I soaked up the pages, loving the wild that they were able to experience. While grizzly bears, swarms of black flies and mosquitoes, and extremely hard labor wouldn't be my idea of fun, the adventure alone seems worth it. A return trip in the middle of winter shows the true harshness of the wild and eyelids freezing shut, eating a beaver tail or seal blubber, killing and skinning the animals on the trap-line, and dangerous ice over flows again wouldn't be my cup of tea but the experience would surely be unforgettable.

It's the canoe trip that raised my hackles. Maybe it's the mother in me, but it sounded beyond dangerous for a 15 year old. I actually held my breath a few times while reading some of the rafting descriptions and almost wanted to smack Campbell upside the head for taking his young daughter into that danger. One tiny little mishap would have left a lifetime of regret. I'm no helicopter parent but I feel there are some dangers in life that should be avoided at all costs - one of those would be drowning in white water rapids. Or, you know, getting eaten by a polar bear.

Campbell was able to travel to Alaska three times within about a year span. While it was a wonderful experience for his daughter, Aidan, I did wonder a little more about his wife and two other young daughters at home. He mentioned briefly the wanderlust he has causing slight strife between he and his wife but there was nothing more about it. The same goes for his other two daughters - a brief question arising in his mind about those two feeling left out, and one mentioning the trip she hopes to have with her dad when she turns 15 but that was all. I understand the book was about the Alaska adventure with his daughter Aidan but I'll admit to judging Campbell a bit for being gone from the rest of the family for three months out of the year while he was on an adventure and the rest held down the fort at home.

All in all it was a captivating book and made me feel like I have a bit more knowledge of truly wild land.

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

That's Not Hay in My Hair

I think what interested my daughter most of all about this book, even before reading it, is that the author is seventeen years old. How cool is it to read a book written by another teen?! That's Not Hay In My Hair by Juliette Turner is about a teen who goes from New York City life to a 300-acre ranch in Texas.

For my "want to live in the country" kid this book quickly drew her in and she stayed up late just to finish it. 

While I can't remark on the writing as I haven't read it myself, it clearly interested my 12 year old so it served it's purpose. It gets high marks from others who have critiqued the book so I feel it's a great book to put on your teen's summer reading list. My daughter is hoping that Turner continues on with more books!

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 


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