Winterdance by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen’s, Winterdance takes you into the life of someone who is going to run in the Iditarod But along the way he has many struggles. The story tells us the hardship of preparing for the Iditarod let alone running it. It shows the complications of getting more dogs and having to deal with that not all of them get along right away.

As the narrator expresses the difficulty of putting together a larger team, he has gotten through the many messes he has been through such as trying to get the dogs prepared to run the twelve day race. Although, there were many difficulties he finally made his way to Alaska. For a rookie there were difficulties there also. As for getting to Alaska he didn’t have the best way of getting there.

Before the race started there were many meetings to give tips, and to ask questions. As to the starting of the race, well that didn’t go to well for the rookie. The first day, he had started the race illegally and he had to restart. Finally after he got going he had gone onto the wrong trail and had gone up into the mountains causing him to add extra miles to the race. As he turned around to go to the original trail there was much more difficulty he had to face with other teams. As the story goes along and he makes it to a few checkpoints without to big of a problem but as the story goes on there seems to be more problems that have to be endured. The narrator seems to be doing pretty well as he is going throughout the race until he sees one of the mushers being cruel to his own dogs. Which in the Iditarod is not allowed. While running to every checkpoint he did the same routine and on occasional stops between checkpoints. As he settles one night he comes along another thing that is not allowed while running the race but he lets it slide. Towards the ending he has trouble with the ice and the wind. Though the difficulties he pulled it through to the end. As he went across the finish line there were many people to congratulate him for his accomplishment. In the end he got a heart disease and is not able to run the Iditarod again.

Within the story the narrator had gotten close with the dogs. Matter-of-fact it’s like he became one of them, especially when he had to sleep outside with them after getting sprayed with multiple skunks on a practice run. This story is definitely a story that will grab your attention.