Young Adult Fiction

Sixteen in Nome
by Max Brand (1930, 1995)
Sixteen-year-old Joe May comes to Alaska to stake his claim during the Gold Rush of the 1890’s.  He meets two mining partners who clash over a dog named Alec and a mystery woman.  Young Adult.

Rivers. Diary of a Blind Alaska Racing Sled Dog
by Mike Dillingham (2001)
The diary of Rivers, a blind dog, and his adventures, as he forms a bond with man and learns to become part of a sled dog team. Rivers is a real dog and the events in this book are based on actual events.  Grades 7 and up.

Rivers. (Book Two) Through the Eyes of a Blind Dog
by Mike Dillingham (2003)
The continued adventures of Rivers and his human companion Mike, racing across Alaska the team finds a lost child.  Grade 7 and up.

Rivers (Book Three) Unknown Trails

by Mike Dillingham (2008)
Race across Alaska with Rivers and Mike to raise funds for an orphanage as the adventures continue.

Diamond Willow
by Helen Frost (2008)
Twelve-year-old Willow convinces her parents to let her take a dog sled with three dogs to her grandparents’ cabin by herself.  What happens when she encounters a downed tree on the trail?   Grade 5 and up. Book Unit

Julie Series by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves (1972)
Winner of the 1973 Newbery Medal
Julie (1994 )
Julie’s Wolf Pack (1997)
Julie runs away from her Eskimo village and an arranged marriage and finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness.  After learning their language and earning their trust, Julie is slowly accepted by a pack of Arctic wolves.

Aleutian Sparrow
by Karen Hesse (2003)
In 1942 Japan attacked Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.  Vera, the narrator, tells of how the native people, the Aleuts, were removed from the islands and relocated to the Alaska mainland.  Grades 5 and up.

Jason’s Gold
by Will Hobbs (1999)
When new of the discovery of gold in the Yukon Territory in 1897 reaches fifteen-year-old Jason, he embarks on a 10,000-mile journey to strike it rich.  Historical Fiction.  Young Adult.

Leaving Protection
by Will Hobbs (2004)
When sixteen-year-old Robbie boards a troller fishing for king salmon off southeastern Alaska, he finds himself in danger when he discovers the captain’s true intentions.  Young Adult.

Dogsled Dreams
By Terry Lynn Johnson
The story of a 12 year old girl, Rebecca, and her dream of becoming a famous dog sled racer.

Black Star, Bright Dawn
by Scott O’Dell (1988)
Bright Dawn encounters the challenges of the Iditarod sled dog race alone when her father is injured.  Grades 4-6.

by Gary Paulsen (1985)
Newbery Honor Book 1986
A fourteen-year-old Eskimo boy longing for the old ways takes a 1,400-mile journey by dog sled across ice, tundra, and mountains seeking his own “song”.

The Call of the Wild
by Jack London (1903)
The adventures of an unusual dog named Buck, who is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields, where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.  Young Adult.

White Fang
by Jack London (1903)
Part wolf and part dog, White Fang relies on his instincts as well as his strength and courage to survive in the Yukon wilderness despite both animal and human predators.  Young Adult.

The Trap
by John Smelcer (2006)
Written in alternating chapters that relate the stories of Johnny and his grandfather, this story addresses the hardships of life in the far north working traplines.  Grades 4-6.

Ice Dogs
by Terry Lynn Johnson (2015)
Victoria Secord, a fourteen-year-old Alaska dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods is entirely up to her. Grades 3 and up.

Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners
by Natalie Rompella (2017)
Ana and Lily have been planning to being partners in their major middle school project for years. So when they are split up for the project, Ana is devastated. Ana’s partner is the new girl from Alaska who wants to do their project on sled dog racing in the Midwest. Ana struggles with her OCD when having to face working with germy, drooling sled dogs! Grades 4-8.

Dog Driven
by Terry Lynn Johnson (2019)
McKenna’s story is action packed from the first page to the last. McKenna is having problems with her vision which she is trying desperately to hide from those who know her best…. but to help her sister bring awareness to their shared vision impairment, she finds herself participating in a sled dog race across the wilds of Canada. She’s competing with both junior and adult mushers, but of course, Mother Nature is going to play a role as well. Juxtaposed with the action sequences of the race are the letters that were carried by the mushing mailmen generations before. It grounds the novel in history and, like many of today’s sled dog races, is a great way to honor the roots of mushing and the lineage of sled dogs.