Winterdance, Gary Paulsen

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14 Responses to “Winterdance, Gary Paulsen”

  1. Rylan N. Says:

    Winterdance is written by Gary Paulsen. Paulsen tells his story of adventure, fear, and the journey through the Alaskan wilderness in the Iditarod race. The Iditarod race is a big Alaskan sled dog race. Only the best of the best sled dog runners participate in such a race. It shows the struggle and stress to prepare for it.

    The book is actually good. Gary Paulsen does a fantastic job of painting a mural in my head through descriptive language and imagery. I enjoy how he’s able to make me feel like I’m in the actual story and there with him in the snowy wilderness. I don’t like how Gary Paulsen takes half the book building up the suspense in the days leading up to the race.

    -4 stars out of 5

    You may also like: Hatchet, Brian’s Winter, Lord of the Rings

  2. Grace O. Says:

    Summary: Winterdance is about how the author, Gary Paulsen, ran the Iditarod, trying to stay alive. He has to try and push through insane storms and experiences with his dogs, as, at the same time, he is forming a personal relationship to the wild.

    Evaluation: I like this book because it has a lot of imagery. It also is very descriptive of the lessons the author has learned through the race. He displays a bond that grows between himself and the dogs and portrays his constant flaws and mistakes throughout the entire book. Gary Paulsen gives you a real connection to nature that he gained, and he shares it through descriptive and emotional writing.

    Rating: ****

    Recommendations: If you like this book, then maybe try…
    —“Hatchet” (same author; Gary Paulsen)
    —“Into the Wild” (Jon Krakauer)

  3. Marcos H. Says:

    Summary:The book Winterdance by Gary Paulsen is a book about the author himself and the time he participated in the Iditarod race. He tells us how he struggled through the Alaskan wilderness and overcame the cold weather and freezing blizzards. He started the race well, but a few days into the race there’s a huge storm that threw everybody off track, and he and his dogs fought really hard to survive with no food, no water, and very low supplies. They had to stop a lot, because it was so cold and windy, they just couldn’t go on. But the challenge has just begun.

    Commentary: This is a very interesting book and it makes you wonder why this race even exists. Many people die from this race, why isn’t it illegal? Gary Paulsen and his dogs will make it through this challenge some way or another. I would recommend this book to people who like suspense, laughter, and determination.

    Rating: 4 stars

  4. Dylan A. Says:

    Summary: This book (Winterdance) by Gary Paulsen, takes place during the Iditarod dogsled race, which is held in Alaska. You will not only see the race however, you get to see a little bit about the character as he trains, as well as his companions, and even his apparel, and the problems they cause (Quote: “The goddamn headlamp” that cut off blood circulation). Then, the excitement of the race.

    Evaluation: This book (in my opinion), was not a good one. It was slow, didn’t explain super well, and seemed to be a little bit of lower quality. However, keeping an open mind is good, as I can see how others would like books like this. It did have a little bit of a sense of humor at least, that kept me entertained for a while.

    Rating: 3.5/5 stars

  5. Sam B. Says:

    Gary Paulson’s Winterdance is a book about several dogs who helped a man go through the harsh trail of the Iditarod. The dogs are rebellious at first but then when the man needs them the most they help out. At the beginning of the story things are pathetic. The dogs run off on their own and the man is forced to walk home and find them later. He calls people asking for advice for running the Iditarod, but when no one helps him he just takes his dogs and runs for it.

    This book is pretty good because it was my type of book. I like survival based books and Gary Paulson writes survival based books that I have been a fan of since I read his book Hatchet in middle school. I found more great books one of which was Dogsong by him. This book was good too but not as good as some of his other books.

    Rating: ★★★★☆

  6. Sarabeth P. Says:

    Summary~ Gary Paulsen runs sled dogs to check on his trap lines. He soon discovers that to him it is much more than a chore. He decides to participate in the great Alaskan dog sled race: The Iditarod. He begins by training with the dogs he has and soon acquires more than 15 dogs which turn out to be an adventure in itself. With the support from his wife and friends, he gathers all the supplies and expenses that will be needed for the race. He sets out from Alaska into the middle of the north with only his pack of trusty dogs and the little knowledge about racing that he has. In the dogs, Gary discovers more than animals but companions. He is overwhelmed by his own place in the world, and the race proves to be not only a harrowing run across Alaska, but also a mystical one.

    Commentary~ I enjoyed Paulsen’s writing immensely. He crafts a great story of adventure, a tale about dogs, and a journey of personal discovery into a breathtaking book. This book was really amazing just because it was Gary’s true experiences on this treacherous adventure where one crosses the better part of Alaska on a sled pulled by dogs. Probably like most of us, I have only a vague idea about the Iditarod – and this book really helps visualize how physically and mentally taxing the experience is. Also after reading about the dogs in this book I consider myself lucky. My dog is a model of good behavior in comparison to Gary’s group!

    Rating~ 5 stars

    Suggestions~ Hatchet, Walden, Iditarod: Toughest Race on Earth

  7. Tanner S. Says:

    Summary: Winterdance is a Non-Fiction story about the author Gary Paulsen. It tells about Gary Paulsen’s experience as an Iditarod musher. Gary Paulsen tells about his training for becoming a sled rider. Gary tells about his emotions and how he feels for the dogs. Gary focuses the book around his dogs and himself, and he tells some good stories about his training. He explains the hard parts, which were the biggest things in his book, and he tells about how he screwed up and learned from his major and little mistakes.

    Review: Gary Paulsen’s Winterdance is an entertaining and interesting book. I loved reading it, and I would recommend it to others that love survival books. This book was very detailed and brings the story to life. This book also makes you feel connected to the dogs and the life of Alaska.

    Rating: 4.5 out of 5

    Recommendations: Hatchet, Winter Moon

  8. Alex M. Says:

    Summary: Winterdance is an autobiography of Gary Paulson and his efforts to win the Iditarod. With multiple blocks in his way to the race such as training, buying new dogs (Ortho, Devil, and Murphy), and hallucinations/sleep deprivation, Gary tries to make the best of it and finish the race.

    Evaluation: Gary Paulson’s Winterdance was an interesting read; I liked reading about the training and what the race was like for the racers. I liked the passion Gary put into the race. I believe that Gary made a bond with his dogs, and reading as it grew was a great story.

    Rating: 4 Stars

    Recommendations: Hatchet, Wintermoon, and Sweet Grass

  9. Christian B. Says:

    Summary: In Winterdance, Gary Paulsen sets out to run the Iditarod. Training in Minnesota, he has many failures and achievements. He finally gets to Alaska for the race and goes through many hardships. There are moose attacks, -60 degree weather, and cliffs, but in the end, Gary finishes the race.

    Evaluation: The book had a different style of writing than what I was used to, but I liked it. There was not much suspense, because Gary would often foreshadow or tell about later events. One main point in the book that was often brought up was the deep connection with his dogs and not being able to go back to normal life after the Iditarod. That point really got me thinking.

    Rating: 4 stars

    Recommendations: Hatchet, Wintermoon, and other books by Gary Paulsen

  10. Kenric A-N. Says:

    The book Winterdance tells the story of Gary Paulson, a dog sled driver going through the Iditarod. He struggles with numerous environmental challenges such as extreme cold, powerful winds, and dangerous wildlife. Along the way he makes a close relationship with his team. He discovers the true beauty of nature and questions his life before the race. He realizes that racing is his true passion and he needs to pursue it.

    Winterdance is a fantastic book, especially for animal lovers. It’s funny at some points and very intense at others while also being thought provoking. The text is very easy to understand; it’s a good pick for more casual readers. Overall Winterdance is a great book, and I highly recommend it to most audiences, although there is some swearing in it, so maybe younger readers shouldn’t pick it up.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Hot Zone

  11. Alex W. Says:

    Summary: Winterdance is about the author when he ran the Iditarod dog sled race. It’s also about the conflicts he had to face and about him connecting with his dogs. The main characters are the author, his wife, and his dog team. The Iditarod is a world famous dogsled race that takes place in Alaska. This is probably the hardest dogsled race in the world.

    Evaluation: I think the book was great but a little boring at parts. It had good details about what he went through. The end was not very good. I think the end was kind of depressing compared to the oddness of the rest of the book.

    Recommendations: Where the Red Fern Grows, My Life in Dog Years, Hatchet

  12. Jackson, R Says:

    Gary Paulsen is doing the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska. The story explains some of the problems he encounters along the way, like 150 mph winds and stinky skunks. My favorite dog in the story is Murphy; Murphy doesn’t care what other people or dogs think of him. He is kind of lost, for instance one of the dogs peed on him and he didn’t even care. The story focuses on the challenges of the race. When Gary gets lost in a blizzard, he relies on his dogs to survive.

    I really liked the book; the author used good word choice and it was easy to follow. I especially liked how the author explained the dogs personalities in every other chapter so you could get to know the dogs.

    Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

    My Life in Dog Years, also by Gary Paulsen. Where The Red Fern Grows. These books are both about dogs, so whoever enjoyed Winterdance will enjoy these books.

  13. Cole P. Says:

    Summary: The book is about the author when he ran the Iditarod dog sled race. It’s also about the trials he had to face and about him connecting with his dogs. The main characters are the author, his wife, and his dog sled team. The Iditarod is a worldwide dogsled race that takes place in Alaska. This is probably the hardest dogsled race in the world.

    Evaluation: I think the book was great. It had good details about what he went through. The end was not very good. I think the end was kind of sad and depressing compared to the weirdness of the rest of the book.

    Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

    Recommendations: This book ↑↑↑

  14. Kai M Says:

    Summary: Winterdance is about the trials Gary Paulsen faces during his first running of the Iditarod dogsled race. In the book he will battle hunger, hallucinations, and even his dogs throughout the story.

    Evaluation: Personally, I didn’t care for this book. It had some interesting parts to it, but altogether the plot was too repetitive and boring for my taste.


    Recommendations: none

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