The Canadian Reading Challenge: Northwest Territories

After a running start at the beginning of the year, I’ve realized that I’m probably not going to reach my goal of reading a book that takes place in or was written by an author from each of the 13 Provinces and Territories within a year. However, I’d rather it take longer than planned than just give up, so I’m jumping back in!

On Thin Ice

Next on my list is this YA novel by NWT author Jamie Bastedo.

I was initially drawn to On Thin Ice because it features polar bears, which I find beautiful. If you ever visit me, you’ll see them in various art forms around my home.

At the same time, I was hesitant because it discusses climate change. It’s not that I don’t think this is an important cause; in fact, it’s one that I worry about quite a bit, so I was worried that the book would upset me. I might have given it a pass, but I didn’t want to offend my brother-in-law who lent it to me. Can you blame me, considering it was Peter Carver, the book’s editor?

I needn’t have worried. It was a very enjoyable read, with likable characters and an entertaining, often exciting, story. Coming into it with no knowledge of Canada’s Great White North other than what I learned in elementary school (which was next to nothing), I also found it informative and enlightening, with an interesting blend of folklore, science, and new age thinking.

In fact, the quote by Peter Irniq, Inuit Cultural Activist & Former Nunavut Commissioner, which appears on both the back cover and in the Foreword, was the only direct message about climate change. The rest of it is simply part of the story, as we see its impact on the people and wildlife of the Arctic.

Now that I’ve sampled Jamie Bastedo’s work, I’m looking forward to reading Tracking Triple Seven, which was also edited by Peter Carver, and maybe some of his other titles as well.

Comments

  1. I too have an affinity for polar bears. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf unread for a few months as I didn’t really want to read about the loss of polar bears in our arctic. After reading your review I will start reading this book tonight. Thank you.

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