Friday, July 21, 2017

Guy Friday- The Trail

33605557Hashimoto, Meika. The Trail
July 25th 2017 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Toby has not had an easy life. His parents had him when they were very young, and when their marriage was failing, they dumped him at his grandmother's. Luckily, she is loving and supportive, and Toby has a good friend in Lucas, whose family does a lot of things with him. Lucas and Toby have big plans for the summer, and want to hike the Appalachian Trail together, but when Lucas is no longer able to accompany him, Toby runs away from home to make the attempt by himself. He isn't adequately provisioned, even though he knows better, and runs into many problems on the trail. Luckily, he also runs into supportive people who help him out along the way. He also ends up with Moose, a dog who follows him after he shares his meager supplies. The trail is difficult, but Toby perseveres, learning a lot about the wilderness as well as his life.
Strengths:The details about how to hike the Appalachian Trail, the camping shelters, and the other hikers were fantastic, and will appeal to readers who like survival stories and the outdoors. Hiking the trail always sounded sort of appealing to me until I read Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. Now I think I'll just shoot for Britain's Coast to Coast walk-- it's not necessary to mail oneself supplies in order to do that one! Moose is a nice touch, the plot moves along nicely, and the character development is realistic and doesn't bog down the story. Love the cover.
Weaknesses: This would have been even better without the sad parts. It takes us a while to learn what happened to Lucas, even though I could see it coming. I also could have done without a subplot with two other hikers as well as difficulties involving Moose. These things didn't ruin the book, but I would have preferred other complications.
What I really think: Will buy a copy for readers who like Will Hobbs, Gary Paulsen's survival books, and Paul Greci's Surviving Bear Island.
Ms. Yingling

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