Rachel's idyllic existence with her family in the remote mountain passes of northern Yukon was shattered by her father's depression, the family's relocation to "town" and her father's subsequent disappearance. Obsessed with understanding why her father never returned, Rachel hikes with her dog across mountain passes and along valleys to her childhood home. As she walks, she distracts herself from her anxiety by reinventing fairy tales remembered from her childhood. As the days pass, the imaginary quest begins to echo her own journey as she confronts danger, faces loneliness and unearths the truth about her father.
About the Author
Born in Great Britain, Joanne Bell grew up in New Brunswick and Alberta. She visited Dawson City, Yukon, many years ago and fell in love with the nearby Ogilvie Mountains, where she spent years running dogs, hiking, canoeing and living in log cabins. Now married with two daughters, she works as a naturalist in the summers and is a substitute teacher in Dawson City whenever she is not in the mountains.
Read an Excerpt
The forest about me is absolutely still.
I shoot at the ground before the bear's massive paws. A scuff of snow flies up. In the next moment I lean the rifle against a tree trunk and grab my bear spray from my coat pocket where I've kept it warm. I pull off the safety clip, and this time I walk toward the bear.
Not away. I'm through with walking away.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Into That Good Night
Chapter 1 Juggling Fire 1
Chapter 2 Right on Rolling 17
Chapter 3 So What is a Bear? 30
Chapter 4 A Grizzled Bear 45
Chapter 5 Imposing Order 56
Chapter 6 Building on Permafrost 60
Chapter 7 Panic 67
Chapter 8 In the Dungeon 77
Chapter 9 Moving on 86
Chapter 10 In the forest 96
Chapter 11 Cleaning this Room 105
Part 2 The Wind Passes Over it
Chapter 12 Pirates in the Night 115
Chapter 13 The Grayling Corral 125
Chapter 14 Wounds 134
Chapter 15 Clues 142
Chapter 16 Undercurrents 149
Chapter 17 The Snow Queen 155
Chapter 18 In the End 162
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16-year-old Rachel's father left her house years earlier and never came back. Her mother says her father died out in the wilderness, but she doesn't believe her. After finishing high school early, she sets out to retrace the steps her father would've taken and looks for clues as to his disappearance. Taking only her dog, food, and her talent for juggling and telling stories, she'll have to survive the wild, bears, and much more if she ever wants to find out the truth. Will she succeed? What really happened to her father all those years ago? The main character is well-developed and believable, and although the plot is slow in some places, it does a good job of holding the reader's interest. The intricate weaving of past and present is well done and doesn't confuse the reader. JUGGLING FIRE is a quick, easy read for those who like survival stories like HATCHET by Gary Paulsen and MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN by Jean Craighead George, as well as adventure and realistic tales.