Thursday, April 28, 2011
Isaac's First Review
Review of Dogsong
by Isaac Stone
The novel Dogsong by Gary Paulson is about Russel, a teenage Eskimo who lives in northern Alaska. He ends-up taking a huge journey to find his “song.” There is an old man named Ooruk who tells Russel he needs to find is inner song. The reason why Russel needs to find his inner song is because he is not happy the way he is living and wants to live the way his ancestors lived before he did.
When Russel goes to find is inner song, he needs to hunt and live like his people did in the past. Rather than using a snowmobile, he needs to run Ooruk’s old sled-dogs. At first, the dogs do not listen to Russel. Once they realize that Russel was the one getting their food for them, they started to listen.
Along Russel’s journey, he goes to hunt seal out on the ice, and he gets stuck out there for a while because the ice breaks off. Russel makes a bridge across the lead(a lead is a spot of open water in the ice where it breaks) using another smaller pice of ice. Finally, he walks the dogs back to the shore with out having caught a seal. Eventually he did learn to hunt with a bow and arrow and managed to kill a caribou and some small game like rabbits.
One day, Russel goes to hunt seal, but Ooruk tells Russel that he is going to go with him. Ooruk wants to go out on the ice because it is his time to die so he goes out with Russel and makes Russel abandon him. Russel takes Oorguk out to the ice, and Oorguk lays on the ice and tells Russel to leave him to die. Russel does not leave at first, but when he but when he finally does leave, he does not go home. He runs the dogs north for a very long time and finds a giant herd of caribou. Then he turns his dogs loose to herd the caribou towards him so that he can get a shot at one. Russel manages to take down four caribou.
Russel finds a place to camp which is in the middle of the trees, and he makes a sleeping bag-like thing out of the caribou skins. Russel has a very strange dream about a man hunting wooly mammoth with rich red meat and yellow fat. He dreams of the children's faces covered in the fat.
After that, Russel woke up and started running the dogs again. He ran them until he found the perfect place to camp for the night. It was a ledge that hung out over the ground, and Russel made a lean-to out of the caribou skins. When he went to sleep, he found an old lamp made out of stone. Russel went out and made the lamp work. He found some moss to use as a wick and used fat from the caribou for fuel.
A day or two later, Russel found snowmobile tracks and followed them until he found the snowmobile and the tracks of a human. He followed them until they stopped. There, Russel found a foot sticking out. He dusted the snow away until he found it was a woman named Nancy. She was pregnant and almost died. Russel took her with him, and they made a camp on the bank of an old brook. Once they ate all the food, Russel left for a week to hunt and found the tracks of a polar bear. He followed them until he found the polar bear and killed it with a lance. He cut huge chunks out of it to eat with Nancy. That night, when Russel came home, Nancy was having her baby five months early. it died because from the lack if food that nancy had, killed it the next day they left and kept heading north until they found a village.
Then Russel finally finds is song it is about his journey through northern Alaska with the dogs. I highly recommend this book. If you like the out doors and the other books by Gary Paulsen then you will love this book.
Posted by Keith at 2:24 PM