Bright Dawn is a young Inuit woman (called Eskimo in the book). Her family has recently moved from their native village by the ocean to a town further inland. Her father while out hunting had become stranded on the sea ice, almost lost his life and was traumatized by the incident. He couldn’t face the sea again, so the family uprooted. Bright Dawn is troubled by all this, but in town she finds an unexpected opportunity: to participate in the Iditarod with her sled dog team. The leader, Black Star, is part wolf. Her father never liked Black Star as well as the other dogs due to his willfullness and independent nature, but Bright Dawn finds that an asset in the grueling race. At the start she becomes off-and-on-again companion to another racer, an older man named Oteg. This man wants to camp with her, give her advice, tell her stories. She appreciates some of this, isn’t sure if she believes all the old stories, and then starts to feel like he’s holding her back. In the end, she has to follow her own decisions and trust in her lead dog. They face many dangerous obstacles (including encounters with a wolf pack, angry bull moose, terrifyingly bad weather, and treacherous ice). Bright Dawn really wants to win the race, but she doesn’t hesitate to stop and help others who need it on the way and to care for her dogs properly. I wouldn’t say she finds herself on the race, more that she grows into who she’s been all along. It’s nice to read details that mesh with others from stories I’ve read of Inuit in the past, or of sled-dog mushing. A lot of the traditional Inuit customs, and beliefs recounted by Oteg were ones I hadn’t heard of before. I also liked that at the very end of the story, Bright Dawn’s father has the opportunity to face his fears in order to help his daughter. That felt a little contrived, but not terribly. To me this story felt rather calm, probably due to the understated writing style, but I bet younger readers would find it exciting.