Thunder on the Tundra: Football Above the Arctic Circle

Thunder on the Tundra: Football Above the Arctic Circle

4.7 4
by Lew Freedman
     
 

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This is the moving story of high school students in an isolated village at the top of Alaska starting a football team. Against long odds the Whalers had to practice and play in extreme conditions and travel hundreds of miles from home when they went on the "road," flying for each game.They ended their first season victorious, while maintaining their subsistence hunter

Overview

This is the moving story of high school students in an isolated village at the top of Alaska starting a football team. Against long odds the Whalers had to practice and play in extreme conditions and travel hundreds of miles from home when they went on the "road," flying for each game.They ended their first season victorious, while maintaining their subsistence hunter-gather culture.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

The isolated tundra town of Barrow, AK-traditional home to an Inupiat Eskimo whaling community-might not seem like the ideal place to start a football program. But, faced with escalating teen dropout rates and boredom-borne substance-abuse problems, the superintendent of North Slope Borough Schools stubbornly worked to create the Barrow High School Whalers. The team first suited up and began practicing on their barren, rock-riddled gridiron in 2006-once, that is, they had actually figured out how to put on their pads. With a team presumably more prepared to hurl harpoons than 30-yard touchdown passes, and the nearest "crosstown" rival hundreds of seemingly impassible miles away, the Whalers drew the attention of ESPN, which aired a human-interest piece on their improbable initial season. The segment drew the attention of one Floridian football mom who, convinced of the sport's redemptive powers in channeling youthful energies, raised enough money for an artificial turf field and attendance at a football camp in Florida. Her pigskin philanthropy seemed to galvanize once-wavering community support, and what follows is a game-by-game account of their emergent second season-one in which the team learns to win and to lose as a cohesive unit, and does so with nearly perfect dignity. Though the book probes a bit less into the individual teen lives potentially salvaged by adopting a completely alien Lower 48 sport than one might have hoped, it does, nevertheless, provide rare insight into adolescent, academic, and family life on America's quickly changing final frontier.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780882408446
Publisher:
Graphic Arts Books
Publication date:
04/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
264
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Lew Freedman is a Chicago-based sportswriter who lived in Alaska for seventeen years. A prizewinning journalist, the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily Newsis a graduate of Boston University, and earned a master's degree from Alaska Pacific University. He is the author of thirty books about Alaska and sports. He lives in Bolingbrook, Illinois with his wife Debra.

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Thunder on the Tundra: Football at the Top of the World 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book about a true story. I loved reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a nice book. I saw this on ESPN and the news so I picked up the book. The author really helps you understand the reason for the team, and the effect playing football has on the kids and town. Its the best book I've read all year. Makes me remember why we go to football games in the first place-for the kids....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lew Friedman captures the story of the Barrow Whalers, and poignantly reminds us what it means to play high school sports. Not for college scholarships, or glory-but to build and demonstrate character, and be a part of a team. You feel as if you are a member of the team as you enjoy their wins, and watch them deal with their losses. While the Whalers are unique (in the book some kids serve on a traditional crew that actually kills and eat Whales) it is the story of the good that can be found in every football team in America. One thing is for certain, you'll leave this book with a different perspective on the need for high school sports and the POSITIVE difference it makes in kids lives...... and if you are like me, you'll be a lifelong fan of the Barrow Whalers