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Frozen Stiff


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About the Author

Sherry Shahan is a photojournalist in her regular occupation. Before writing Frozen Stiff, she was on a kayaking trip and experienced, as her protagonists do, the coldness, wideness, and loneliness of the icy landscape. In her leisure time she likes to canoe on the coast of her home state, California.


Gr 4-7-A survival story set in the Alaskan wilderness. When their mothers leave to buy supplies, Cody and her cousin Derek make an unapproved kayak and camping trip to Russell Fjord. Cody has never gone alone, but she and her mother have spent the past three summers in Alaska, and she's been on some guided trips, so she's sure she knows what to do. Derek is willing to follow her. All goes well at first, but a sudden glacier shift floods their tent and most of their provisions are destroyed. Cody becomes ill and they must make camp again. While there, they feel like they're being watched‘and they are. The hidden observer is a trapper living away from society who ends up caring for the youngsters and helping them get home safely. Shahan knows this setting well and the power and majesty of the land are described eloquently and so vividly that readers can easily imagine the scene. However, this sharp description is not applied as well to the characters. It's easy to get caught up in Cody and Derek's adventure, but there is no insight into their personalities. A contrived subplot involving Cody's feelings about her parents' divorce doesn't ring true. Despite these flaws, there is enough here to make a solid, though not heart-stopping, adventure story.-Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library

"Shahan knows this setting well and the power and majesty of the land are described eloquently and so vividly that readers can easily imagine the scene".

-- School Library Journal

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