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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  15 reviews
For as long as he could remember, Johnnie has longed to go off hunting with Pa and their dog, Swift. Now the much-anticipated day has arrived, but Johnnie?s first hunt comes to an abrupt end when a grizzly bear attacks Pa, leaving him wounded and unable to walk. ?Listen to the dog,? his father urges him as the boy starts out into the treacherous forest, led by the knowledg...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 20th 2007 by Philomel
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Trissa White
My 8 yr old read this in one sitting and came upstairs enthusiastically telling me he was done and how sad and wonderful it was. To get that reaction from my son deserves 5 stars. We are going to try some other Robert J. Blake books and hopefully get the same reaction.
I really adore the oil paint illustrations that Mr. Blake does. The stories are always really good.
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This book did not appeal to my daughter or me. I don't mind hunting, but bear hunting I do mind. And then a crazy injured bear attacking a dad and then the dog and then the kid. And then hypothermia. This is some heavy stuff for a kids book I think. The picture book format and "lite" sentence structure makes me think the expect us to read this to young kids but I don't see much appropriate in this story for most youngsters. Maybe Alaskan homesteaders!
A true survival story in which a boy's dog guides him through a dangerous, cold landscape to get help for his father. There's a decent amount of text on each page, making this a good read aloud for older children. The short, Hemingway-esque sentences are punctuated by the snap of twigs and the click-click-BOOM of guns. I think most readers will predict the happy ending, but it's still a good example of the survival genre, dotted with accurate details. The author tells us in a note at the end tha...more
Bonnie Brown
Blake, R.J. (2007). Swift. New York, New York: Philomel Books. Unp. Ages 8 and up.

Johnnie has been waiting to go hunting with Pa and their dog Swift since he was born. This gripping story, told in the first person, tells how Johnnie’s first trip wasn’t as easy as he thought it might be. Through bold illustrations and gripping storyline, a boy and his dog find a way through the wilderness together.

Related Activity: Create a map of a trip they have taken, like the one in the front cover of the bo...more
When Pa breaks his leg after a scuffle with a bear, it's up to his son and his dog to find help. The dog, Swift, knows the way and has the smarts, but will the son listen and understand his cues? There's a lot of tension and near-misses as the boy and dog travel through biting Alaska cold. The oil paint illustrations illuminate the text and radiate off the page; a highlight of this engaging story for dog lovers.
This book would be more appropriate for an older child. During a hunting trip around their home in Alaska Johnnie's father gets hurt by a grizzlie bear and must find his way back to town to get help with only the guidance of his dog. Johnnie is forced to trust the instincts of his dog in order to make it safely home.
I like how this book tells about a boy that has to overcome a lot with his dog to save his dad. Such simple advice his father gave him, "Keep your wits about you," saved him throughout his struggles. It was almost like Swift, the dog, was the boys father in spirit, urging him on and to not give up.
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Johnnie and his dad are hunting in Alaska, when his father breaks his leg. Johnnie and their dog swift must go get help. A cute fun adventure with lovely artwork by the author.
Dog lovers, action and adventure readers will love this book. It's also fun to trace the two paths on the map featured on the end pages.
I think it is really good, because I am one who really likes animals. I think the animal had really good character.
I really really liked the dog and I know Owen's sister Madison would like it because she is a dog lover.
Vibrant illustrations and an exciting story.
Johanna Kristensen
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