Skip to content

Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard

February 12, 2013

Children’s and Young Adult Book Reviews: Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard   910L

wild trek wilderness fictionKjelgaard’s books have become a favorite with my sons, but at first  I had to talk #2 son into reading these. He thought they were just like all the other “dog books” where the “dog dies at the end.” They were delighted to find out these books are action packed and topped off with happy endings.

This is much more than a “dog story.” Wild Trek does indeed have a semi-wild dog at the center of the plot, but it’s much more about two men learning how to survive in the wilderness of Alaska with only the crudest of tools. What makes this survival story stand out is its credibility. This is probably the most realistic adventure/survival  fiction I have ever read.

Chiri is vaguely described as a husky type dog who has grown up in the wilds of Alaska. Chiri is loyal to only one human; modern day trapper, hunter, and woodsman, Link Stevens.  Link understands Chiri’s past and allows him the freedom to run and hunt for himself.

Link is surprised one early spring day when the local law officer rides into the Gander River cabin slumped over his horse. A horse wreck has resulted in John Murdoch’s broken arm, and the two day ride into  Steven’s cabin has left him weak and unable to continue. Murdoch was on his way to look for two men whose plane has gone down in the vast Caribou Range wilderness.

Stevens realizes that going for help will take too much time. He makes Murdock comfortable, and sets off for the Caribou Range himself, with Chiri at his side. The trek into the uncharted range is long and difficult, but Stevens is enthralled with the beauty and bounty of this unsettled area.

After finding a mountain pass to the area the plane was last seen, Stevens eventually finds the two men.  Trigg Antray, the wildlife researcher, is injured, but his resourcefulness and philosophical approach to his hardship has allowed him to adapt and remain hopeful during their trying time in the wilderness.  The pilot, Garridge,  has not faired so well and seems withdrawn and unstable.  Steven’s instincts tell him he can’t trust Garridge, and his suspicions are proven correct when Garridge abandons them, taking all their provisions, including Steven’s rifle and ammunition.

Stevens and Antray are left with only a few crude tools, and they must try to get out of the Caribou Range while Antray still has strength. Antray’s scientific mind draws parallels between their predicament and what generations of hunters and gatherers before them have faced. His observations are often helpful and the tools they build and strategies they use become useful as they continue to struggle for survival and devise a plan for getting back to civilization.

Flags: See the About page for explanation of flags.

  • Stevens finds a mountain lion’s den which contains human bones
  • Garridge is mentally unstable and reacts to Steven’s arrival with paranoia
  • Garridge and Antray frankly discuss their possible deaths if they don’t make it out of the wilderness before winter sets in
  • Garridge fires a rifle at Stevens
  • Garridge is attacked and killed by a mountain lion
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: