by Donna Jo Napoli

Hardcover(Library Binding)



Chanelle laughed. "You'd never travel
that far. You the mamma's boy, I hear."

But Chanelle is wrong. Alvin has more guts than even he realizes. In fact, when his overprotective mother goes too far, he decides to run away - to follow in the footsteps of his hero, Matthew Henson, the Artic explorer. Alvin will prove that he can take care of himself. And so begins Alvin's journey north to the deadly cold; north to terrifying, frozen, windy expanses, where it's easy to get lost; north to polar bears and wolves; nut most important: north to himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781417698394
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date: 01/28/2004
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Donna Jo Napoli is the author of more than fifty books for children, including many picture books and novels for tweens and teens. Some of her most popular books are Zel, Beast, Ugly, Bound, and Stones in Water. Donna Jo lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

Customer Reviews

North 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
North is the story of Alvin, a boy with dreams of being an explorer. He pictures himself going to Africa, Asia, the Amazon... Unfortunately, his mother is so overprotective that she won't even let him buy a bicycle with his own money. When Mamma finds out that a drug dealer approached Alvin on his way home from school, she insists on having an elderly neighbor walk him to school every morning. For Alvin, it's the last straw. He's been studying the polar explorer Matthew Henson in school and he decides to follow the footsteps of his hero. He'll travel to the North Pole and see with his own eyes what Henson described as "fierce beauty". So he sets off. He's got a backpack full of clothes, a sleeping bag, and $439.00. First stop, New York City. From there all he's got to do is keep traveling north, right?What I really liked about North is that I found it remarkably believable. Alvin's journey isn't easy and he makes plenty of mistakes. Certainly he makes friends and gets lots of help along the way, but never to a ridiculous point. This was a fast-paced adventure story that I couldn't put down. (And don't take my word for it... check out another review at a wrung sponge.)My one complaint is, of course, the lack of an author's note... I would have loved to see what inspired Napoli to write this book, where she turned for research, and if she traveled to the Arctic... but then, I am a big author's note geek. We know this.
NMkimdykstra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Personal Response:I thought that this story started out really well. However, I felt like it kind of slowed down in the middle of the book, and then seemed to drag on. I was really disappointed by the ending of this book as well. The resolution of the story was what kept me going with it, and then it just ended without answering any of the questions I wanted to hear the answers to! Some of the events of this story are very far-fetched. I didn't feel like it modeled healthy ways of dealing with family problems. I also think that Native Americans were not portrayed in the most politically correct way. Sometimes their language was made out to be quite primitive.School/Library Uses:I definitely have my reservations about this book. I don't think it would be high on my list to purchase for my library. However, it is a bit of a fascinating story for kids who like adventure stories. I think this would be a good book to reccommend to boys who are reluctant readers in a school or public library setting (and if you could foster some discussions with this book, that would be ideal).
Guest More than 1 year ago
North written by Donna Jo Napoli is a very entertaining book. I enjoyed Napoli¿s descriptive writing style throughout the book. She successfully painted a picture about Alvin¿s scenarios. The book was about Alvin¿s perilous journey north from Washington DC to the North Pole. On the way, Alvin had to survive difficult obstacles like almost freezing to death on a train. He also had to find food and shelter when he was traveling. On the way, he meets many people like Fox who let him stay in their house when he was traveling. Fox also gives Alvin proper clothing to survive in the Arctic. Fox gives Alvin kamiks which are a type of Arctic boot. Alvin also receives a large parka to keep himself warm. Many of the people Alvin meets are Inuits which is the proper name for an Eskimo. In fact, Inuits believe that the word `Eskimo¿ is a racial slur. Donna Jo Napoli¿s entertaining writing style keeps you turning the suspenseful pages of this book You should read this book if you love adventure and suspense. An important life lesson you can take from this book is to never give up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an outstanding and pageturning book for all ages.If you are a person who likes adventure, survival stories, and heart warming books, then this is the book for you. You'll want to read it over and over again just like i did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great book. It was about a boy and his survivel to Alaska like his hero Matthew Henson.