Wednesday, February 20, 2013

World Wednesday-- Never Say Die

Never Say DieHobbs, Will. Never Say Die.
29 January 2013, HarperCollins

Nick enjoys his life in the small Canadian Arctic Inuit village of Aklavik, but things are changing. His grandfather, Jonas, is dying of cancer, the herds of caribou are decreasing rapidly with the warming weather, and Nick is attacked by a strange and ferocious bear that is a cross between a polar bear and a grizzly. When his half brother, Ryan, wants Nick to go on a wildlife photo shoot with him, Nick isn't sure he wants to go. Jonas convinces him that he can hang on long enough, and that he would like to hear about Nick's adventures in the wilderness. Ryan has done a lot of wilderness traveling for his job as a photographer, and this latest trip is for an article about the changing climate in the Arctic and how it is affecting the wildlife. Nick is definitely interested in this, and appreciates how sensitive Ryan is to the difficult issues in his life. The two set off for a remote area only to have their raft overturn a few miles into their journey. They manage to survive the freezing water, horrific mosquitoes, and lack of supplies and find their raft, only to have to battle grizzlies, the "grolar" bear, and the worst storm the area has seen in years. This is certainly the trip of a lifetime, and Ryan and Nick not only bond, but find out alarming facts about the affect that climate change is having on this area of the world.

The housing unit fire took place Thursday night in Aklavik, N.W.T., located about 60 kilometres west of Inuvik.
Strengths: Like all of Will Hobbs' books, this was exceedingly well researched, set in a real place, and discussed in just enough detail problems that exist in the area. I like how Hobbs manages to advocate for the protection of the wilderness while being entertaining rather than preachy. There is lots of action and adventure in this one, and is a great additional to any list of survival stories. Nice inclusion of Inuit lifestyle-- there's a part of the world not often covered in literature!
Weaknesses: This starts with the grolar bear attack, but then spends a little too much time discussing the grandfather's illness and the half brother before heading out on the trip. I found it interesting, but my adventure lovers might skip a few parts.

For news from another part of the world, I was very saddened to here that Maeve Binchy, noted Irish author, passed away back in July. I read few adult novels and purchase even fewer, but I own just about everything she has written.

Thanks for joining us for World Wednesday. If you have a post about a middle grade book set in another part of the world or with great multicultural characters, please tell us about it in the comments.

Great Basin Indians at Provo Library Children's Book Reviews
Greenhorn at The Fourth Musketeer
Harlem's Little Blackbird at Sharpread and Watch.Connect. Read.
Home Court at A Wrung Sponge
Lions of Little Rock at Middle Grade Mafioso
A President from Hawaii at Teach Mentor Texts

Interviews all month at The Brown Bookshelf

Surely I'm missing something. This can't be all the books reviewed in the past week with global characters!


  1. I'm in the middle of weeding the ya section and am very disappointed to see that Will Hobbs is NOT checking out. I don't know if kids just don't know about him, or if he's being neglected because he's on the bottom shelf!

  2. Yes! I have one for you this week! I am so proud of myself.

  3. Anonymous8:25 PM EST

    I think I would like this book!