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Moose Tracks
     

Moose Tracks

by Mary Casanova
 

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Twelve-year-old Seth wants to prove to his stepfather, the game warden, that he is responsible enough to use his shotgun on his own. Without permission, he takes matters into his own hands and shoots his first rabbit. He is worried about what his father will say when he finds out—and Seth himself is unsure of how he feels about it—but before he can

Overview

Twelve-year-old Seth wants to prove to his stepfather, the game warden, that he is responsible enough to use his shotgun on his own. Without permission, he takes matters into his own hands and shoots his first rabbit. He is worried about what his father will say when he finds out—and Seth himself is unsure of how he feels about it—but before he can confess, Seth’s life is turned upside down.

In the woods near his house, he sees poachers slaughter a moose cow and injure her calf. Rather than tell his stepfather about the incident, Seth tries to save the calf, but the poachers know who he is and threaten his family. Can he rescue the moose and bring the poachers to justice? He has to try.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A quick-moving adventure that, without preachiness, shows the importance of knowledgeable gun use and respect for wildlife." —Kirkus Reviews

"Casanova’s description of the frigid, northern Minnesota landscape is so chillingly vivid a cup of hot chocolate may be in order." —Booklist

"A fast-paced adventure story, frequently helped along by Casanova’s precise and evocative descriptions. Seth is a winning character." —School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Squeamish readers may have trouble getting past this debut novel's first chapter, which describes in gruesome detail the hero's shooting of a rabbit and then his severing of its foot. When 12-year-old Seth later witnesses two men poaching a cow moose, he is warned by the law-breakers to say nothing to his game-warden stepfather. Though the boy thinks he wants the grown-up thrill of hunting, the rabbit and moose episodes lead him to question his desire. In fact Seth is unusually sensitive to animals-he is gentle with his horse and his cat-and vows to save the poached moose's injured orphan calf. The boy's attempts to rescue the animal and stop the poachers are paralleled by his concerns about the baby his mother is about to have and questions about his biological father, whom he's never met. Casanova earnestly conveys the ugliness of killing animals for financial gain, but significant portions of the novel (including a melodramatic ending) resemble TV adventures, and the themes of sibling anxiety and approaching teen years are approached in merely routine fashion. Ages 9-12. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6The novel begins with Seth, 12, illegally shooting a rabbit near his home in a wilderness area in northern Minnesota. His feelings of guilt over the incident are complicated by the fact that his stepfather is the local game warden. Things become even more complicated when Seth sees some poachers killing a cow moose and wounding her calf. They follow Seth to his barn and rough him up. Undeterred, the boy finds their hideout, orchestrates their capture, and, with the help of the warden, rescues the moose calf. At the story's end, Seth has confessed to the killing of the rabbit and grown closer to his stepfather. This is a fast-paced adventure story, frequently helped along by Casanova's precise and evocative descriptions. Seth is a winning character and readers are given a chance to get to know him and his inner conflicts while enjoying the adventurous plot. Many young readers are also likely to be intrigued by his isolated life on the fringe of a wilderness area.Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816690190
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
03/01/1999
Series:
Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
243,651
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Casanova is the author of thirty books for young readers, ranging from picture books to historical fiction and YA novels. Her many awards include an American Library Association “Notable,” a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and two Minnesota Book Awards.

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