"The story describes the pair’s enthusiasm to explore new places and their commitment to undertake the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine through to Georgia. They trained together, taking ever longer walks with heavy backpacks on their backs and shoulders. And initially, when they set off for the journey, things went well. In good weather Pam and Ellie were hiking twenty miles a day. In bad weather their pace slowed, but through it all their spirits were high.
"With beautiful, watercolor-like illustrations, Bill Farnsworth’s diagrams take us inside the tent they shared and to mountain precipices where they stood in silence, awed at the view. They helped and supported each other, and nowhere was this more crucial than after Pam took a fall, injuring her back and robbing her of strength. With Ellie’s encouragement and patience, she was able to continue. But the situation worsened when Ellie headed out across an icy lake that cracked beneath her weight. With a stiff and sore back, standing on the shore, Pam knew there was no way she could retrieve her friend from the water. She saw her dog’s head begin to slip beneath the surface and screamed “Ellie come!” Obeying the command, Ellie managed to oust herself from the icy water and make it back to land.
"By the time they complete the trail Pam and Ellie are dirty and exhausted, but triumphant. They have made a great team and given each other the strength to surmount their respective physical challenges. An interesting read for children ages four through seven, Ellie’s Long Walk is an inspiring story about the bond between canine and human." ForeWord Reviews, Lauren Kramer
"It is unusual for one small book to show both the peace and natural perils of the Appalachian Trail."
Brian King, Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Ellie’s Long Walk: The True Story of Two Friends on the Appalachian Trail is the story of a 2000 mile hike down the Appalachian Trail, taken by the author, Pan, and her faithful black Labrador, Ellie. Beginning in March of 2008, in Maine, Ellie and Pam hike together for 6 months, ending up at Amicalola Falls National park, Georgia. “Ellie’s Long Walk” explains many unexpected dangers and trail obstacles met by the pair of travelers, including a thunderstorm with many downed trees, a tricky cliff climbing path to find, and an icy stream leading to a waterfalls, which Ellie falls into and narrowly escapes. Through discouragement, hardship, cold, injury, and discomfort, Ellie provides unfailing support and cheer to Pam, and the two keep going together until they make it to the end of the Appalachian Trail. Sensitive paintings of beautiful scenes, as well as frightening events, help document the epic journey of “Ellie’s Long Walk. The only in-print children’s book about the Appalachian Trail, “Ellie’s Long Walk” has been nominated for the 2012 Chickadee Award (children’s choice award for the state of Maine), the 2012 Red Clover Award (the children’s choice award for Vermont), and also potentially the 2012 Children’s choice award in Michigan and New Hampshire. “Ellie’s Long Walk” belongs in every child’s nature education library. The Midwest Book Review