Cover image for Edge of nowhere
Title:
Edge of nowhere
Author:
Smelcer, John E., 1963- , author.
Edition:
First Edition.
Publication Information:
Fredonia, New York : Leapfrog Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
154 pages : map ; 21 cm
Summary:
Seth is a teenage deckhand on his father's boat when he and his dog are washed overboard and swept to one of Alaska's small islands where they struggle for months to survive off land and sea, while his desperate father endures his own emotional journey and never gives up hope.
General Note:
Originally published: London, UK : Andersen Press Limited, 2010.

Includes discussion questions & activities.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1010 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.5 5.0 168543.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781935248576
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"More psychological depth than Robinson Crusoe."--Frank McCourt

Praise for Lone Wolves :

"A beautiful and moving story of courage and love."--Ray Bradbury

"Powerful, eloquent, and fascinating, showcasing a vanishing way of life in rich detail."-- Kirkus Reviews

"An adept focus on coming-of-age and an illuminating glimpse of Native Alaskan cultures."-- The Horn Book

"A gifted storyteller with a unique perspective. . . . A breathlessly paced and thrilling ride for readers of all ages."-- Cambridge Book Review

Praise for The Great Death and Alaskan :

"Gripping and poignant. . . . Smelcer's prose is clean and rich; original yet unpretentious."-- Horn Book , starred review

"John Smelcer is Alaska's modern-day Jack London."--W.P. Kinsella

"An indispensible contribution to Alaskan literature."--J. D. Salinger

"Smelcer speaks from the land, for the land, and the people who belong to it."--Ursula K. Le Guin

Sixteen-year-old Seth and his dog fall off his father's commercial fishing boat in Prince William Sound. They struggle to survive off land and sea as they work their way home from island to island in a three-month journey. The isolation allows Seth to understand his father's love, accept his Native Alaskan heritage, and accept his grief over his mother's death.

John Smelcer is poetry editor of Rosebud and the author of more than forty books. He is an Alaskan native of the Ahtna tribe, and the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna. He divides his time between Talkeetna, Alaska, and Kirksville, Missouri, where he teaches in the department of communications studies at Truman State University.



Author Notes

John Smelcer is the poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and the author of more than forty books, including the recent young adult novel Lone Wolves (Leapfrog Press, 2013). He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and is now the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna. John holds degrees in anthropology and archaeology, linguistics, literature, and education. He also holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Binghamton University, and formerly chaired the Alaska Native Studies program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

His first novel, The Trap, was an American Library Association BBYA Top Ten Pick, a VOYA Top Shelf Selection, and a New York Public Library Notable Book. The Great Death was short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Award, and nominated for the National Book Award, the BookTrust Prize (England), and the American Library Association's Award for American Indian YA Literature. His Alaska Native mythology books include The Raven and the Totem (introduced by Joseph Campbell). His shortstories, poems, essays, and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, and he is winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation, which was nominated for a Pulitzer. John divides his time between a cabin in Talkeetna, the climbing capitol of Alaska, where he wrote much of Lone Wolves, and Kirksville Mo., where he is a visiting scholar in the Department of Communications Studies at TrumanState University.

Awards
John Smelcer is the winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation, which was nominated for a Pulitzer.

The Great Death
* Nominated for The National Book Award, the BookTrust Prize (England), and the American Library Association's Award for American Indian YA Literature
* Listed along with The Incredible Journey as one of the greatest adventure stories in The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature (foreword by Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked)
* Short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Book Award for Children's Literature.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Smelcer (Lone Wolves) gives readers a crash course in Alaskan history, geography, and lore in a survival story, first published in the U.K., that pits a teenager against nature's indifference. Overweight 16-year-old Seth Evanoff is "soft" and "lazy" in the eyes of his fisherman father, who tells his son, "You wouldn't last a day in the wilderness," just before Seth and his dog are washed overboard during a fishing expedition. The third-person narration, decidedly adult in its perspective and tone, alternates between Seth's struggle to survive and his widowed father's agony as he searches for his son. Tense encounters with bears and killer whales add to the already substantial tension, and Smelcer makes Seth resourceful without being a wonderboy-unable to make a fire, he necessarily develops a taste for raw salmon, mussels, and clams. Survival information (often gleaned from what Seth's father taught him) and Alutiiq words that Seth has learned from his grandmother are incorporated throughout. While Smelcer hammers themes of mankind's fractured relationship with nature a bit hard, it's a thought-provoking and moving coming-of-age story. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Sixteen-year-old Seth Evanoff mourns his mother's unexpected death. For comfort, he eats more than his share of junk food and escapes from life through a portal of video games on his tablet. Seth works with his father on a commercial salmon fishing boat in the Prince William Sound, and during a storm, he and his loyal dog, Tucker, are tossed into the drink. So begins the coming-of-age journey of Seth and Tucker as they toil and swim among a chain of remote islands toward home. Seth uses wisdom from his Native Alaskan culture and common sense to survive a summer season of challenges. Smelcer's prose is lyrical, straightforward, and brilliant. This is an example of authentic Native Alaskan storytelling at its best. Readers are drawn immediately into this realistic modern-day vision-quest scenario and easily identify and empathize with the characters. The excitement and fast pace of the action are reminiscent of Jack London stories. This novel would make a versatile addition to any secondary English or multicultural curriculum. Not to be missed.-Naomi Caldwell, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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