Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson

Dogsled Dreams

Author: Terry Lynn Johnson

Publisher: 4RV Publishing

3½ out of 5 stars

“Gee! Gee!” you shout, your throat hoarse as the wind whips away your words. Your sled dogs’ ears twitch back, listening intently to your commands. They respond immediately, turning to the right, as your sled tilts to the left and you lean your body in. Your breath puffs in front of you in clouds as trees shoot past. The icy air stings your cheeks making them glow red. The dogs are sleek as they kick up snow, following the trail, steadfastly keeping their pace. They pull you along, and you glance back seeing their tracks and the double trail of the sled in the snow. This is the life alright. Sledding with your dogs in the chilly snow and losing yourself in the run. This is the life that twelve-year-old Rebecca Bourdon gets to live every single day.

Rebecca is only twelve, but already her dreams are big and are her hopes are high. Her goal is to become a famous dog sled racer, and she fantasizes about it often. She wonders what it would be like to compete in races, passing the finish line, waving to her fans. However, despite this seemingly impossible goal, Rebecca is already well on her way to achieving it.

But for Rebecca this isn’t enough, she wants to take on more. What she wants is to run her own team. That is a lot of responsibility though, and her dad needs to make sure she is ready for it first. With a team of huskies, and a litter of newborn puppies, Rebecca has her hands full. Whether it’s cleaning up doggie doo, or making sure that the dogs are strapped in tight, Rebecca is constantly trying to prove herself to her dad. She can do this. She knows that it’s not just herself that she has to care for, but the dogs too. Rebecca has seen her dad handle the dogs for years though. She has grown up around sled racing dogs and she knows practically all there is to know.

Then again, she is only twelve years old. Can she really run her own team and make sure not only to keep track of herself, but to control the dogs too? Not only that, but there are so many other obstacles that could get in the way. Will Rebecca overcome her fears and doubts, and take on this challenge? Or will she just give up and never dare to try? All is revealed in Terry Lynn Johnson’s debut novel, set in a snowy landscape with sled dogs that can warm your heart in, Dogsled Dreams!

A fun, heart-warming read that captivated me right from the start. Not only is there adventure and humor, but morals and real knowledge about dog sledding mixed in! This was such a fun read, and one that I’m definitely glad I picked up. I won Dogsled Dreams on Kathy’s blog, I Am A Reader Not A Writer, and Terry Lynn Johnson was kind enough to sign my copy of the book, along with a bookmark and a personalized letter (For pictures see below).* I recommend this book for kids, and middle grade readers, such as pre-teens, as it will surely bring a smile to your face.

What I enjoyed the most was the knowledge on dog sledding that Terry Lynn Johnson poured into Dogsled Dreams. This made the story feel so real, and it gave me a glimpse into a sport that I didn’t know very much about. If it wasn’t for the glossary of terms in the back of the book, I don’t know if I would have understood many of the terms and commands. I am so glad to have gotten to know a little bit more about dog sledding and racing from reading Dogsled Dreams.

I also appreciated the fact that everything wasn’t easy and dandy for Rebecca as she worked towards her dream. She ran into some tough obstacles that set her back at times. However, Rebecca learned from these setbacks, and became a better musher for it. This really helped me relate to Rebecca, as I think anyone who is learning the ropes of a sport or trying something new would understand. Rebecca really tried hard, and in the end, it paid off.

Okay, I have to mention the dogs. They were one of the best aspects to Dogsled Dreams! Each of them had their own personality, and it was so much fun to see Rebecca interact with each of them. Also, I really got a sense of how much trust and commitment a musher and their sled dogs must have. Everything depends on the reliability of one another, and they are in it together. Rebecca and her sled dogs were evidence of this. This was also one obstacle that Rebecca had to overcome: putting her trust in the dogs and having them trust her. Oh, and I have to say that my two favorite sled dogs were the tough leader, Apollo, and the goofy, yet loyal Doppler.

I would have liked to seen this book cover a longer period of time, or read about Rebecca longer. I felt that I read Dogsled Dreams so quickly, and I didn’t want it to end. It would have also been nice to have seen an epilogue. Maybe it could have even been of Rebecca now as a famous, pro-musher with many awards under her belt! Despite this, I can’t wait to read more if there is a sequel!

All in all, Dogsled Dreams is a fun read that follows one girl’s dream to come out on top. Join Rebecca and the dogs, as they race their way to the finish, passing by anything that gets in their way in, Dogsled Dreams!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

*Signed copy of Dogsled Dreams                    *Dogsled Dreams with swag

Check out Terry Lynn Johnson's website at
Dogsled Dreams is available from Amazon here.


  1. wow, TB! What an outstanding review! I'm so glad you liked it. Your descriptions here made me feel as if I really was on the back of a sled! What a writer you are as well! And I must admit, I grinned when you mentioned the dogs. It really is all about the dogs! I do have a soft spot for my old leader, Apollo. He and I travelled many miles together and he pulled me out of some scary situations.
    Thank you for taking the time to write this awesome review!

  2. Aw, I think I'd like this one! Mainly the dogs. I like how you say they all have personalities :)

  3. Terry Lynn Johnson- I'm so glad that you enjoyed the review! The dogs were one of the best parts of the story, and they really made it what it is. I loved how you gave each dog their own special personality, especially Apollo! Thank you so much for your support!

    Aylee- The dogs really are the best. This a fun read, and I'm sure you would enjoy it! I'd love to hear which dog is your favorite!

  4. Terry is a great writer and brings her story to life. I'm proud we were able to help get her book to people.

    Her book can also be found at

  5. Terry Lynn Johnson's book was wonderful, and thank you so much for publishing it in the first place!

  6. You know, you can't fake a book like this. Terry Lynn is the real thing. She lives a life worth writing about -- and, man, can she write! She also knows how to chase off a bear with a chainsaw. Check out her blog. It's incredible... and you get to see the dogs.

    Great review, T.B.

  7. Thanks so much for stopping by! I agree, Terry Lynn Johnson definitely is the real thing. Her writing is so true and real. I love seeing the dogs on her blog as well!

  8. This looks like the perfect book to curl up with on a cold day. It's definitely going on my TBR list.
    Lovely review :D

    P.S Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting, I appreciate it :)

  9. That'd be a perfect way to read Dogsled Dreams! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

    Oh, and no problem! Your reviews are wonderful! :)

  10. Aww! Sounds so sweet - a nice book to read when you want to smile. And, being a dog lover, the whole dogsled theme makes it even better!
    Brilliant review!

    And thanks for stopping by my blog and following! It really means a lot. Thank you, and I've returned the follow! (:

  11. I've read a couple reviews for this book and it sounds good. Nice job! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment today. It's nice to meet ya! :)


  12. TheBookAddictedGirl- Dogsled Dreams definitely made me smile. :) Thanks so much for following!

    Aimee- Thanks so much! It was a fun and sweet read. Thanks for following and stopping by!


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