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Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog
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Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  613 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
This true tale actually happened in Alaska to the famous naturalist, John Muir, and it became what he called the most memorable of all his wild days. One day, Muir set out to explore a huge glacier during a blizzard. Stickeen--an aloof little dog belonging to a fellow traveler--insisted on going along. They become stranded on the glacier. The only way out was over a precar ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Dawn Publications (CA) (first published 1909)
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John Muir and a little dog named Stickeen had a life threatening adventure crossing a wide crevasse while exploring a glacier in Alaska in 1880. The danger bonded the naturalist with the remarkable Stickeen.

Thanks to Renata for putting this short story on my radar. It's a free story (without illustrations) on Project Gutenberg.
Jennifer Sanford martin
Jan 03, 2014 Jennifer Sanford martin rated it it was amazing
This book is very special to me and my family. Stickeen's owner Samuel Hall Young was my great-great-grandfather. I am happy to see that so many people have enjoyed it.
Mar 15, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story told by my husband's hero, John Muir.

John Muir is well-known for his mountaineering adventures, especially during storms. In 1880, Muir returns to Alaska to continue his glacier exploration. Stickeen is a small dog that joined Muir's party and proved to be a fearless explorer, sticking to Muir's side, even during some hair-raising moments. That is, until a particularly scary spot, crossing a wide crevasse, Stickeen seemed to reach his limit. Muir and Stickeen become "brothers",
Aug 23, 2012 Charlie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When we arrived in Colorado this year for summer vacation, my father sat the entire family down to a family meeting. His terms: 1- to spend time with each of the grandsons, and 2- to read this book to the family.

It was, as my oldest said, "a lot better than I thought it was going to be!".

This is an excellent story about nature, life, challenges, and friendship. I was blown away!
Aug 27, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a wonderful introduction to John Muir. It reveals much about the man and the small dog named in the title. I would recommend this short book highly to everyone who would like a taste of Muir's magnificent nature writing and heroic character.
If you haven't read any of John Muir's writing, especially Travels in Alaska this is a good short story to start with. Muir's style is accessible and powerful even today. This story is about a dog who went on one of Muir's trips to Alaska, so if you've read that book, you have essentially read Stickeen, hence my rating.

Would be great for middle and high school, maybe even grade school readers.
Skylar Primm
Aug 31, 2016 Skylar Primm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I dare you not to smile at the thought of Stickeen the dog, "flash[ing] and dart[ing] hither and thither as if fairly demented, screaming and shouting, swirling round and round in giddy loops and circles like a leaf in a whirlwind, lying down, rolling over and over, sidewise and heels over head, and pouring forth a tumultuous flood of hysterical cries and sobs and gasping mutterings" (p. 63).

Never have I read a more vivid description of a dog's bliss.
May 24, 2015 Dawn rated it it was amazing
All that time in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. All that time spent wandering aimlessly and solo through the John Muir National Monument. And somehow I'd never read John Muir??? I'd read ABOUT him. But evidently I never actually read his work. Stickeen is short and sweet and a great place to start.
Crap. Just when I was making progress reading and purging books on my overloaded shelves, I'm going to have to go out and buy a big chunky John Muir collection to keep around!
Dec 15, 2016 Wickedshizuku rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 4th grade and up
Recommended to Wickedshizuku by: my daughter
The art is amazing for a children's book, and the story is exciting.
Sundeep Supertramp
Stickeen by John Muir

Rating: 1 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): N/A (e-book)

Read between: 26-08-2012 (One day read)

This is very infamous book. On GoodReads, there are about 340 ratings and 40 reviews.

I came across this book when I was searching for some adventures novels online. Specifically I was searching for adventures that have taken place a long back and considered classics. That is how I came across John Muir and found a whole load of John Muir collection.

I think that it is not leg
Nov 03, 2015 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was delighted to find this essay published as a small book, as I had enjoyed reading it in the 1911 edition of John Muir’s “Mountains of California” while on vacation. At home, I could only locate the 1894 edition, which is missing this and other stories.

As the book begins, Stickeen, a small terrier, is adventurous yet aloof. This is a wonderful story of the forging of a bond between man and dog, and rather a coming of age tale for Stickeen. John Muir tells this true story in first person, and
It strikes me as more than coincidental that both Muir and Mills wrote about their dogs. Muir's story was first published in a magazine in 1897. Mills' book about Scotch came out in 1916 (it may, too, have first appeared in a magazine). Mills admired Muir so I suspect that the story of Stickeen inspired Mills to write about his own 'amazing' dog.

This is basically a story of Muir's exploration of a glacier in Alaska. This is the account of a day trip, during a storm (he loved storms), across the
Sep 10, 2015 Lois rated it really liked it
I chose this children's book because I thought it would be a good introduction to the adventurer and environmentalist, John Muir. I was afraid to read it too- afraid something might happen to "the Brave Little Dog" and really I couldn't stand to read that. Ever since I saw the movie "Old Yeller" stories about abandoned, misunderstood dogs have been avoided. Yet- I figured- this is a children's book and so the chances of the endangered dog surviving are excellent, so I gave it a go. In the book, ...more
Dec 29, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stories about dogs (and other animals) make me nervous. I hate sobbing my guts out while reading a story! But this one did not lead to bawling. It's mostly about one day's adventure with Muir and the dog on a glacier, being stuck in a storm and trying to cross huge crevasses including one with a very skinny ice bridge. After Muir's description of the dog as very stoic, comparing him to a philosopher and even a cactus, the climax of the story is when they are crossing an ice bridge and Stickeen " ...more
Douglas Dalrymple
Jan 22, 2015 Douglas Dalrymple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s something in Muir’s best work that reminds me of Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson was the better writer, but they were perhaps storytellers of the same species. Another point of comparison might be Thoreau. In terms of outdoor credentials, Thoreau was a dilettante compared to Muir. Both of them, however, found love of nature and love of language perfectly compatible. In Stickeen - an essay on an unlikely expedition dog and a nearly fatal incident traversing an Alaskan glacier – and in o ...more
Mar 21, 2015 Joe rated it really liked it
Stickeen was a fun, quick little read. I'd given it a glance for the first time a year ago when I'd filed it away on my classroom's "Alaska books" shelf, but thought little more of it than a kids' story about a man and a dog. While certainly digestible for younger readers, the descriptive language remains interesting for older readers, too. There's the easy comparison between Stickeen and any number of Jack London stories, true, but Muir's voice lends it more of an uplifting sort of quality that ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Impy rated it it was amazing
This book, published in 1998, is a retelling of one of John Muir's favorite adventures. He is said to have retold this story many, many times.

John Muir is a hero of mine, so it simply being a short story about him would've sufficed in satisfying me. Add to that the gorgeous illustrations by Christopher Canyon and this book is a real treasure.

I read this story through three times because it was so beautiful. The story is a good one and the illustrations are magic. John Muir looks much like himsel
In this memoir, it is the late 1800s and the author is exploring Alaska with a dog, Stickeen. They are hiking through glaciers and end up in a bit of a scary spot.

It was ok. It really didn't get “exciting” till over half-way through. It was written in the late 1800s, so a different writing style from today. A lot of description that I wasn't always as interested in. It did get more interesting once they got onto that glacier and had to figure out how to get back. Overall, a little disappointing
Jennifer Zartman
May 20, 2013 Jennifer Zartman rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, especially since I read Alaska Days with John Muir by Samuel Hall Young first. Samuel Young owned Stickeen, and in his book he details all of his adventures with John Muir, including this one. John Muir broke a good many rules about hiking in the wilderness in his adventures, to the point that I occasionally wonder how he lived through them all. His attitude and his writing all breathe a bracing freshness, and the details he gives about crossing the sliver of ice that hung o ...more
Nov 15, 2011 Halida rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first time reading naturalist John Muir's work. Although the book is about a dog, Stickeen, the thing that left biggest impression to me was the man and dog's adventure in the great outdoors. Unlike, say, White Fang and The Call of the Wild by London, it doesn't give much information about the dog. It is a short read, though, so I guess that explains why a thorough description was not given to the character Stickeen. Overall a good book and I can't wait to read other work by Muir.
Feb 21, 2015 Kristin rated it liked it
In this modern retelling of John Muir’s true adventure on a glacier in Alaska with a little dog named Stickeen, the language is very accessible to young readers. The adventure is daring, but the growing relationship between man and dog is also tender. Children will love this “Man and his faithful companion” story. Canyon’s colorful and detailed realistic drawings accurately depict the daring adventure and danger as well as the growing emotion between the two characters.
Jan 09, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I love it when I discover a new story or anecdote involving someone I respect and find interesting. Not only did John Muir traipse around the world, climbing glaciers and jumping crevasses, he did so in the company of the brave dog Stickeen. Stickeen is awesome because he doesn't blindly attach himself to Muir. It takes an epic adventure to bring the two together. Good historical notes and titles for further reading, as well.
Sep 20, 2011 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature lovers, dog lovers, kids
Recommended to Caitlin by: Green Apple Books
An endearing little story. Not so much about the dog as it is about a little (daring and ill-advised) adventure Muir has in Alaska, with the dog along as a sidekick. Full of Muir's eloquent descriptions of nature and a few funny quips about the dog. Basically a short story, so a quick and enjoyable read.
Dec 18, 2011 Corrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I'm not sure what to say. 3-1/2 stars. One one hand, I'm horrified that he let Stickeen come along on his adventure. Even more horrified that no one knows what happened to Stickeen after the adventure. But, on the other hand, what a fabulous, brave little dog. I really wish there was a picture of Stickeen. I'll have to check out the internet to see if I can find one.
Aug 16, 2008 Missmath144 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Missmath144 by: a lady at the Rocky Mt. Storytelling Festival
A very quick read (20-30 minutes) about John Muir's adventure with a little dog named Stickeen as they spent a day upon a glacier, watching it crush trees in its wake and wending their way around giant crevasses (and sometimes leaping over them). No a biography in itself, but a small biographical annecdote.
Frances Sawaya
Jan 18, 2013 Frances Sawaya rated it really liked it
Any insights gained from reading John Muir are always worthy of thought and attention; this tale of the importance of struggles in life is no exception. It was all the more noteworthy for me as I read it today over coffee, bread and cheese (far more than Muir and Stickeen had when they set out on their day's exploration of the crevasses of Alaska) and watched our first snowfall of 2013.
Aug 03, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
Short book, filled out with Afterword and Chron of Muir's life. Dislike the illustrations in my edition (Buell). With some of the 19th C language and the geological descriptions, not sure it is a YA book, as marketed.
May 02, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this short story about the adventures this naturalist and his canine companion had. It was interesting to see the reactions of Stickeen, the dog, and even more interesting to think of him as a "silent boy."

It's a very short read, and I'd read it again in the future!
James Hahn
Feb 11, 2015 James Hahn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good!

I'd never read anything of John Muir before this but will certainly look for other books. A brief but attention grabbing story about a man and a dog. A great book for anyone who loves adventure and man's best friend.
Jul 22, 2010 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great short story about an insane man and an insane dog during a harrowing day on the Taylor Glacier, Aug 29, 1880. The dog accomplished some amazing feats to make it back. Sadly, someone stole the creature in the following months and Muir never saw his good friend again.
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John Muir (/mjʊər/; April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park a ...more
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“What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm!” 40 likes
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