Mike Watson's team has just won the Alberta Bantam Provincial box lacrosse championships. The euphoria of victory and plans for next season are short-lived when Mike's father, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is transferred to Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
The transition to life inside the Arctic Circle is a tough one. With temperatures of -30 Celsius, a hulking monster named Joseph Kiktorak threatening him at every turn, and not a lacrosse ball in site, Mike's resentment at moving north escalates.
As his friendships with local youth develop, Mike is introduced to the amazing spectacle and athleticism of traditional "Arctic Sports." When his father witnesses the natural talent of Mike's new friends, the idea of an Inuvik lacrosse team is born! With hearts full of desire, the motley group of athletes heads south to participate in the Baggataway Lacrosse Tournament, and to face Mike's former team, The Rams.
- Pub. Date: October 2010
- Publisher: Dundurn Press
My favorite part of this book was the way the culture of the Arctic Circle was described and portrayed. I really enjoyed learning more about a region of the world that I didn't know much about. It was fascinating to read about the attitude and atmosphere that Mike encounters when he moves and how he learns to embrace a new culture as well as his own background.
Arctic Thunder contains many lessons that students (and adults, for that matter) can learn from. Mike has to keep an open mind and heart in order to accept his new home. He has to learn about the culture of those around them and give it the respect it deserves, learning more about himself in the process. He also learns to accept a few difficult individuals he meets as he learns more about their backgrounds. Ultimately, the inspirational message of the book is one of love and acceptance - about finding the good that lies in each person.
This book is extremely detail-oriented and action based. This was a little too much so for me personally, but I know that this will appeal greatly to young sports fans of all types, especially those who already love lacrosse. Because of the detail utilized in explaining lacrosse, I was able to understand how the game is played and to visualize the excitement of the sport. I can't wait to see how my students react to the story, particularly my reluctant boy readers.
Source: Thanks to Marta at Dundurn Press for providing a copy of this book for a fair review.