Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Eye On The Iditarod by Aisling Lara Shepherd and Hope Irvin Marston

Eye On The Iditarod:  Aisling's Quest

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Windward Publishing (December 1, 2011)
  • Language: English

I was born to race. Born to drive a team of sled dogs. Born to follow my dream of running the Iditarod. 

This is the real-life story of a young girl with a big dream. From the time she was three years old, Aisling (pronounced Ashley) Lara Shepherd loved watching sled dog racing on television. Inspired by the drive and determination of the dogs and the people who race them, Aisling set out on a personal quest to one day run her own dogs in the famous Iditarod race in Alaska. 

Follow eleven-year-old Aisling as she conquers obstacles, deals with heartbreak and loss, and achieves great victories--all while keeping her eye on the Iditarod. 

Author Hope Irvin Marston worked with Aisling to complete this inspirational story of courage and resolve. This book also offers an informative and engaging look into the world of sled dog racing and the joys and challenges of caring for and training sled dogs.

I have to say that this is a really great book to read with your children.  It has a wonderful, "feel good" attitude that just screams, "NEVER GIVE UP!".  You will read how, Ainsley, who is born legally blind, faces all the obstacles that came her way and never lets anyone tell her that it couldn't be done.

Ainsley is a beacon of hope to anybody, young or old, in showing how if you dream and believe, you can make it happen.  Ainsley has a wonderful support network around her, from her single mother to her grandparents, who manage their time to help Ainsley fulfill her dream of running her own dog sled team in Alaska.

The reader is taught a lot about the dogs that run the sleds; we learn how they each have a role on the team and how they bond to make the team stronger.  We read how Ainsley guides her dogs by love, compassion and instinct and how the dogs respond to her as well.

This would make a great book to have in classrooms, libraries or even your own home.  It's not a long read, the print is larger than normal, but the essence you find it the pages will stay with you even after you have done reading and I can almost guarantee, you will feel the need to do some more research on this past time, such as I did.

The book contains many resources for classrooms to use, as well as a glossary of terms for those of us who are just reading about sled dogs for the first time.

I would give Eye on the Iditarod:  Aisling's Quest a five out of five stars.  Its imaginative, thought provoking and uplifting.  Continue to follow those dreams Ainsley, you are a poster child for tenacity and living your life, your way!

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