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Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod is American author Gary Paulsen’s account of participating in the iconic race. Paulsen, best known. Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod. Gary Paulsen, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $26 (p) ISBN Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod. Gary Paulsen, Author Harvest Books $15 (p) ISBN

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View a FREE sample. He finds that sharing sleeping quarters with the dogs increases his bond with them, and even after the smell has worn off he continues to sleep outside. This book fulfills the Popsugar reading challenge for a book about a sport. And for all my youthful desperation to leave it in pursuit of a place more appropriate to my interests, some part of me is glad – no, some part of me is overjoyed – to be reminded that it’s still there; to know that folks like Gary Paulsen can do truly stupid and ridiculous things like run a team of dogs over more than 1, miles of wilderness in the midst of some of the harshest weather on this planet, and be better people for it.

It’s also a very, very funny book as he did the race before the internet and really had no clue how to train, how to pack, what to expect, etc. Some things we will never get a chance to do. Paperbackpages. Recommended to Erin by: Paulsen reluctantly agrees and climbs into the back of the truck. Jun 13, Janelle rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 5 comments.

It got to me at a deep level. When word gets around that Paulsen plans to compete in the Iditarod, the local community rallies behind him by donating money, food, and essential gear. Oct 16, Dana Stabenow rated it really liked it Shelves: Since I’ve recommended this as a read-aloud, I’ll just add that some on-the-fly editing may be necessary for language issues and younger children. Gary soon realizes that he knows nothing about dogs.


I get really irritated by ego trip books written by people who go adventuring think mountain climbing or sailing solo and keep detailed journals just to publish a “look at what I did” book. The funniest book I have ever read. I woke up and noticed 9 dogs even though i only have 8. I taught 2nd grade for 18 years and then taught literature to grades 7, 8, 9 for 16 years.

And yet, he writes about training for and running the race in such a way that I was almost ready to head for Alaska and try it myself. Sep 07, Claire rated it really liked it.

Although guest Libby Riddles had her doubts about what parts were really Paulsen’s story, she said they were at least some musher’s winterdancw. Map and color photographs. Paulsen and his team of dogs endured snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on.

Read more from the Study Guide. Jan 28, Mark rated it it was amazing. During the first few years of his life, his father was stationed in Europe during Wnterdance War II and his mother worked in a factory.

But it sure was entertaining to read about Paulsen’s wild experiences from my cozy chair. Dec 24, This book is incredible.

Winterdance Summary & Study Guide

This is his memoir, of that event and it is awesome. Of those who know me, I doubt a single person would describe me as “outdoorsy”. Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. Gary Paulsen writes many young adult coming of age stories about the wilderness.


To ask other readers questions about Winterdanceplease sign up. I can not recommend this one high enough and I will be searching out more of his work. Which I shouldn’t need to do. Some of Paulsen’s most wonterdance books are the “Hatchet” series, although he has published many other popular novels including DogsongHarris and Meand The Winter Roomwhich won the Newbery Honor.

Winterdance Summary & Study Guide

Please tell me he kept the dogs! I learned that the men and women who drive dogsleds are swept into the rhythm of the ride; that there’s a harmony of unity in the dogs, the sled and the driver. First Snow 95 Alaska. The descriptions of nature surrounding the dog sledding, and Paulsen’s relationships with his dogs, in particular, were very beautiful.

Add his child to the picture. In this book Paulsen refers to his wife often but not in depth. I remember strongly disliking the hero of the Hatchet series. That somehow inspired Paulsen to decide that he wanted to run the ultimate of dog sledding events — The Iditarod. Mar 26, Julian rated it it was amazing. Mar 28, Lisa rated it did not like it. Paulsen says that he has a son, but it is not clear if his son was born before or after this first race.

He also created more snapshots and exploding moments than any other book I have read. Jan 16, Nolan Alber rated it really liked it Shelves: From then on, nothing shocked me, but it sure did make me laugh.