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Arctic Thunder

by Robert Feagan

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winter sports, aboriginal & indigenous
list price: $14.99
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook eBook
published: 2010
ISBN:9781554887002
publisher: Dundurn
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 15
Grade:
6 to 9
Reading age:
12 to 15
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Community Reviews and Comments
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Arctic Thunder

When 14-year-old Mike Watson’s team wins the Alberta Bantam Provincial box lacrosse championships, he is elated. His joy is dashed when he discovers that his RCMP father has just been transferred to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Miserable about leaving his friends, Mike is reluctant to embrace the North. Gradually he begins to enjoy its features — great snowmobiling, his neighbour and elder Victor Allen, friendship with cheerful, nerdy Donnie Debastien and the fact that he looks more like the kids in his class than he ever did in Alberta. But he is horrified to discover that there is no lacrosse in Inuvik. In addition, two angry kids at school have it in for him.

When he witnesses his Inuvialuit and Gwich’in classmates practising Arctic sports, he is amazed at their athleticism. When they see him and Donnie playing a makeshift game of lacrosse, they in turn are intrigued. The result is a new lacrosse team (coached by Mike’s father) with some very unusual talents. It is a team that is headed south for the next Alberta tournament.

Author Robert Feagan clearly loves the North and vividly depicts Mike’s enjoyment of the land and what it has to offer. (Born in Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, Feagan was an RCMP child and he set his previous book, Mystery at Shildii Rock, in the 1950s in his birthplace.) Although his characters sometimes sound too grown up and the writing occasionally does more telling than showing, his descriptions of lacrosse (and other sports) are exciting and entertaining — throwing the reader into the middle of each game.

Arctic Thunder is a fast-moving read that will give many readers a sport and a part of Canada they are unfamiliar with. For northern readers or lacrosse enthusiasts, it will be a great way to find themselves in pages of an exciting book.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2011. Volume 34 No. 1.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Arctic Thunder

After Mike Watson’s lacrosse team wins the Alberta championship, his dad, an RCMP officer, gets transferred to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The transition is tough, especially with Joseph Kiktorak threatening him at every turn. As Mike makes new friends, they introduce him to traditional “Arctic Sports,” and an Inuvik lacrosse team is born. The motley group of athletes compete in a tournament and face Mike’s former team.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

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Awards
  • Short-listed, The Golden Eagle Book Awards
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens
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Description

Short-listed for the 2012 Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award and Rocky Mountain Book Award, commended for the 2011 Best Books for Kids and Teens
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.

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Contributor notes

Robert Feagan is the author of two previous novels for young people: Napachee and Mystery at Shildii Rock. He was born in Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, and often accompanied his RCMP father on patrols of the Mackenzie Delta by dog team. Feagan currently resides in St. Albert, Alberta.

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Editorial Reviews

"Arctic Thunder made me laugh out loud more than any book I've read recently, and I loved the opportunity it gave for a glimpse into a region of Canada that most of us will never explore. Feagan's lacrosse play-by-play is well written, and the characters he presents are fun and real. A light, refreshing read."

— If the thinking won’t stop… (YA blog)

"Adult readers should not be put off by the fact that this is a young adult novel; it is a good Arctic read for anyone."

— The Deakin Review of Children's Literature

"Arctic Thunder is a fast-moving read that will give many readers a sport and a part of Canada they are unfamiliar with. For northern readers or lacrosse enthusiasts, it will be a great way to find themselves in pages of an exciting book."

— Canadian Children's Book News

"The best bits of the book are when Feagan uses his platform to showcase some of the aboriginal traditions that are still in place today, and are enlightening to others outside the Inuit culture."

— Resource Links

"All the characters in the book are likeable, and Feagan introduces a wide variety of both teen and adult characters without resorting to stereotypes."

— CM Magazine
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About the Author

Robert Feagan

Robert Feagan is the author of the children's novels Napachee and Mystery at Shildii Rock. He was born in Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, and often accompanied his Royal Canadian Mounted Police father on patrols of the Mackenzie Delta by dog team. Feagan has lived in Yellowknife, Cambridge Bay, and Inuvik, but currently resides in St. Albert, Alberta, near Edmonton.

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Other titles by Robert Feagan

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