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Moose Tracks
     

Moose Tracks

by Mary Casanova
 

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When Seth witnesses an international gang of poachers slaughtering a moose cow, they warn him not to tell. Can Seth save the calf without endangering his family?

Overview

When Seth witnesses an international gang of poachers slaughtering a moose cow, they warn him not to tell. Can Seth save the calf without endangering his family?

Editorial Reviews

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
Chris Sherman
Casanova's story spans only three days, but it's a time filled with action: 12-year-old Seth goes hunting without his stepfather's permission and makes his first kill; he stumbles on a pair of unscrupulous game poachers who eventually trap Seth and his friend Matt in an abandoned mine; and he saves an orphaned moose calf and captures the poachers. The action is nonstop and dangerous, and it's also believable. Seth behaves like a typical 12-year-old, underestimating risks, withholding information from his parents, and worrying about his place in the family. Casanova's description of the frigid, northern Minnesota landscape is so chillingly vivid a cup of hot chocolate may be in order. Middle-grade readers will enjoy the adventure, and teachers will find the story very easy to booktalk.
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786811373
Publisher:
Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.63(h) x (d)
Lexile:
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 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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