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Eagle Blue: A Team, a Tribe, and a High School Basketball Season in Arctic Alaska

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  345 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
n the tradition of Friday Night Lights, an extraordinary journey into the basketball-crazed culture of remote Arctic Alaska.

The village of Fort Yukon sits eight miles above the Arctic Circle, deep in Alaska's "bush" country. The six hundred men, women and children who live there—almost all of them Athabascan Gwich'in Natives—have little to cheer for. Their traditional Indi
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Bloomsbury USA
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Community Reviews

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Luke S.
Sep 01, 2016 Luke S. rated it it was amazing
Eagle Blue was a very good book because it really showed how basketball affects many small towns in Alaska. The book talks about how these teams practice almost every day and still show up to the freezing cold gyms even when the temperatures reach down to 60 below zero. The book focuses on the town's road to the state tournament and how their heartbreaking loss in the championship game went down the year before. A reason why this book is good is that this team has to overcome many challenges to ...more
Parker Young
Jul 23, 2013 Parker Young rated it it was amazing
Parker Young
Mrs. Dunlavey
Summer reading
Eagle Blue
The Summarization of Eagle Blue
The idea of doing what the author did is fascinating to me. Michael D’orso went through what most people would’ve found excruciatingly boring. He spent most of his time living with the young boys of Fort Yukon, traveling several hundred miles to play a single game that lasts only an hour. Spending the nights in schoolrooms with only the boys and the coach for companions. That in of itself is amazing, yet he mana
Bray Gilgen
Nov 01, 2012 Bray Gilgen marked it as to-read
If you like books about basketball or about life in the Alaskan wilderness, then this is a book for you.

"Eagle Blue", written by Michael D'orso, is about a basketball team in the yukon of Alaska, the REAL wilderness as it is worded in the book, not like Anchorage, a so called "big city". It starts out describing life and what it's like living in a village of about a couple hundred people, and it is very descriptive and vivid, you can just about picture everything the author put in the book. The
Chris Sikorski
May 02, 2016 Chris Sikorski rated it it was amazing
I thought that Eagle Blue by Michael D’Orso was a great book and would rate it 4.5/5 stars. The author provides a great balance between writing about basketball and Alaskan tradition. The premise of the book is about a team of high school basketball players in Fort Yukon Alaska. In order to even participate in the sport these players and coaches gave a tremendous effort and went through numerous obstacles to get where they did by the end of the book. Saying this, I thought overall this book was ...more
Daniel Johansen
Mar 18, 2016 Daniel Johansen rated it really liked it
The story, Eagle Blue by Michael D'orso there is a basketball team located in Northern Alaska, where they go through a lot of ups and downs throughout the basketball season.
Basketball season is just around the corner all the players are getting ready to try out for the 2004-2005 high school basketball team. This year a lot of people are wanting to play because last years Fort Yukon team went to the state 1A championship, but sadly lost in the final round. This year they are looking for redempt
Tyler Foster
Mar 05, 2016 Tyler Foster rated it it was amazing
( Spoiler Alert )
This book takes you through the course of the season for the Fort Yukon Eagles season. They tell you about the community legends and some of the players that are around now. They take you through the life in a day of the Fort Yukon Eagles Coach, they also introduce you to some of the natives.they also tell you how they life when you go on away games. They take you through a couple of their games and tell you how the games went. Then they go into a blow out riveralry game to ta
Trevor Kibala
Mar 01, 2016 Trevor Kibala rated it it was amazing
Eagle Blue illustrates Fort Yukon High School’s outstanding 2005 basketball season. It also demonstrates what life in urban Alaska is like. Author, Michael D’Orso, did an exceptional job of making me feel as though I was there experiencing every thrill or disappointment.

As I read further into the book I was able to connect with the characters, and learn in great detail what their lives are like. It also made me grateful to live in a place where it is not below zero almost every day, and such a s
Aug 17, 2014 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book follows the events of the Alaskan, Fort Yukon eagles 'bush' basketball team over the course of a season. The term bush is used to denote the remoteness of some of the teams.

Alaska is remote and Fort Yukon, a village of 600 native Alaskans, is to be found pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Therefore one could expect the book to cover basketball, along with the day to day issues of life in such a remote and harsh environment. Up to a point it does do this but only up to a point.

The s
Currey Zalman
Apr 23, 2015 Currey Zalman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eagle blue is a very well written book. It is about the author who follows the Alaskan high school, Fort Yukon, and their Men’s Basketball team through their season, through their hardships. Throughout their 28 games the team had more than their fair share of problems. Ranging from grandmothers who passed away, to having to go through of shuffling their schedule to play different teams who are either eligible or ineligible.
The author Michael D’Orso uses mostly a narrative style of writing thro
Columbus Academy US Librarians
Ms. Heywood's pick:

Eagle Blue follows the Fort Yukon Eagles, winners of six regional championships in a row, through the course of an entire season, from their first day of practice in late November to the Alaska State Championship Tournament in March, shadowing them through an Arctic winter of fifty-below-zero temperatures and near-round-the-clock darkness as the Eagles criss-cross Alaska in pursuit of their―and their village's―dream.

Click for more info: Eagle Blue: A Team, a Tribe, and a High
Monaco Pollock
Sep 04, 2015 Monaco Pollock rated it it was amazing
This book "Eagle Blue is set in a small village called Fort Yukon in Alaska. There is only a small high school where there are only thirty seven kids attending and only around ten for the boys team. There conflict is that they face many problems on and off the courts. They desperately try to find a way to stay together and to become a championship worthy team.
My opinion on the novel is that is filled with inspiration and is one of the best sports books I have read.
Suggestions for people tha
Parker Cummings
Jan 18, 2016 Parker Cummings rated it liked it

Eagle Blue written by Michael D'Orso is a book that takes you on the journey of the small town's basketball team in Fort Yukon as they strive for one common goal, to win the state championship. This goal can not be completed without testing each player's endurance, work ethic and skills along the way. Fort Yukon is a high school in a small village just above the Arctic Circle. There seems to be nothing that the townspeople can do to escape the cold winters and their poor living conditions. Many
Casey Burnham
Oct 20, 2014 Casey Burnham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tristan Phegley
Dec 08, 2011 Tristan Phegley rated it really liked it
Eagle Blue by Michael D’Orso is a very exciting, fantastic, and entertaining book. This book was fun to read and also easy to read. I think people who don’t play sports or even enjoy sports should read this book because it wasn’t all about sports. It was also about the everyday lives of teenage boys.
This book is about a 1A basketball team from Fort Yukon, Alaska. The kids on this 1A team play with their heart - all of it. These kids play in several tournaments against higher ranked teams that
Jun 02, 2010 David rated it really liked it
Author spends a season attending every practice and game of a high school basketball team of Native Alaskans from a small village. Clearly written and often exciting. It helps that they had a great year (24-4, won a couple invitational tournaments as well as regional champs, 3rd in state, upset some bigger schools). He does a nice job of evoking the goofiness and high spirits of a team of high school boys, of covering the complicated village politics and a little of the larger cultural history a ...more
Matt W
Mar 21, 2013 Matt W rated it really liked it
For some kids it’s just a game, something that keeps them busy during the long months of winter. In the book Eagle Blue by Michael D’Orso he depicts the life of the young boys that play on the basketball team in Alaska. The kids of Fort Yukon live and breathe basketball. It’s the heart and soul of the town, the time of the year that everybody lives for. For the members of the Fort Yukon boy’s basketball team basketball has a greater meaning than just being a sport, it resembles hope and freedom. ...more
Aug 19, 2013 Kirk rated it really liked it
English 301
Summer Reading
Kirk Vesely-Jamison

In 1976 Fort Yukon was the talk of the town, winning regionals five years in a row. Now, with a school of thirty two kids including boys and girls, over half of the school plays 1A basketball at Fort Yukon. If they didn’t have basketball the school would lose students because they would skip school, not do their homework, or move to a different school to play basketball. Every year the team would travel hundreds of miles with just the players and Coa
Andy Lihou
Oct 11, 2013 Andy Lihou rated it it was amazing
Eagle Blue is a very exciting and entertaining book. It is about the story of the season of the 2005 Fort Yukon basketball team. The book is about the team as they play through one of their most challenging seasons yet. It talks about their lives and their travels as they travel all across Alaska to achieve their goal of winning the NIT tournament and the big State Tournament. The team goes through many challenges such as ineligibility, not to mention a crazy coach with a unique play style. This ...more
Jeremy Walder
Aug 19, 2013 Jeremy Walder rated it really liked it
The book, Eagle Blue, is an amazing story about an arctic basketball teams struggles. I enjoyed almost every part of the book. The only part that I, personally, did not like was the first three to four chapters. In those chapters it was hard to understand some of the things the author was saying. For example, if the author was writing about one of the player’s home lives, he would talk about that player for the entire chapter except for a few random thoughts about other players. I found this ve ...more
Dylan Brooke
Dec 01, 2013 Dylan Brooke rated it liked it
Dylan B
December 1, 2013

English 9


Eagle Blue by Michael D'Orso may be a good book for some. However for people like myself, this book felt boring and slow placed. But Eagle Blue is not a bad book in any means. This story to my interpretation is about a six time winning basketball team in Alaska going threw their 28 games in there new season hoping it will be there 7th victory. The fore teen boys faced with problems such as bad grades, drugs, and going to away games all while focusing on th
Delray Beach Public Library Public Library
Winters in Alaska are horrible; everybody knows this. The temperatures are beyond freezing and going outside in the frigid weather can’t be anywhere close to enjoyable. One would probably think the only sport possible at this time would be snowboarding or skiing. This book, Eagle Blue, shows us a different side of arctic Alaska. A small village named Fort Yukon in the remote arctic of Alaska has only 600 people, with its only connection to the outside world being one thing; their high school bas ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Lindsey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: high school boys
Part documentary, part Rudy, D’Orso takes us through an entire basketball season with the Fort Yukon Eagles in rural Alaska. This isn’t your typical high school team; the conditions and life in Arctic Alaska create quite unique circumstances for the players, their families, and their coach. There are only thirty-two kids in the entire Fort Yukon high school, yet they have one six consecutive regional championships. D’Orso takes us through practices, pre-game pep-talks, road trips, and even into ...more
Dec 12, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it
The book is essentially a story about a basketball team. The author tries to make it more than that by talking about politics and race, but his treatment of the issues is pretty superficial. He also relies a bit on stereotypes to make his point, with the exception of his discussion of the ANWR drilling issue. He talks about the local politics of that issue in an interesting and straightforward way.

But all of these issues are just to fill out the book. It's primarily a story of a high school bask
Rachel P
Jul 04, 2009 Rachel P rated it really liked it
Eagle Blue, by Michael D'Orso, is a non-fiction novel about a high school basketball team in Alaska. They also have normal teenage lives though and some of them are facing problems in school with their grades. The basketball team and their coach, Dave, are the main characters. There is not one specific main character, but Matt is the best player on the team. The boys made it to the semi-finals of the Alaska State Championship Tournament. They had to play Newhalen, one of the best teams, and lost ...more
Laura Avellaneda-Cruz
Jan 02, 2009 Laura Avellaneda-Cruz rated it it was ok
As an Anchorage Alaskan, this expanded and surprised my view of Alaska and made me feel like a real wimp for whining about going out in -10. I read it upon the recommendation of a Fort Yukon resident, one of the daughters of the coach it follows, and I was not disappointed. It very well spoke with the voice of the Fort Yukon villagers and gracefully threw in bits of history and explanation of how life is lived, how trapping and hunting works, the politics of Native corporations and oil explorati ...more
Oct 09, 2014 Breyneconor03 rated it it was amazing
I think this was a very good book I liked it a lot. I liked how the author really went into detail on all the teams ups and downs. They really made some memories in their 28-game season. The plot of this book the way it all ties together really makes this a good book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes sports books.
Michael Heneghan
Sep 13, 2010 Michael Heneghan rated it really liked it
A really great sports book. But like the jacket says, good sports books are rarely just about sports, and "Eagle Blue" is no exception. It's about friendship, teamwork, David vs. Goliath, and a lot more. This book came by way of suggestion from one of my friends I teach with. Isn't that really the best way to get a book? "Here, take this. I loved it and I think you will too."

This book follows a high school basketball team from a small town in very, very rural Alaska. The town and the team are c
Oct 19, 2010 Mr.Heneghan rated it really liked it
A really great sports book. But like the jacket says, good sports books are rarely just about sports, and "Eagle Blue" is no exception. It's about friendship, teamwork, David vs. Goliath, and a lot more. This book came by way of suggestion from one of my friends I teach with. Isn't that really the best way to get a book? "Here, take this. I loved it and I think you will too."
This book follows a high school basketball team from a small town in very, very rural Alaska. The town and the team are c
Brennen Nureneberg
Sep 14, 2015 Brennen Nureneberg rated it really liked it
I love the book Eagle Blue it a great book about a basketball team.The team travels by airplane to got to every game.And it was often negative degrees outside.I love reading about how a Small little team with not much talent joined together and beat big teams.I would recommend this book to everyone.
Mar 20, 2016 Brenna rated it really liked it
This was really great. To be fair, I did skip a lot of pages throughout when it was concerning the basketball games or practices. Obviously, this book is going to be about basketball but I have no interest and a huge part of this story is also of the people of this small town. The most interesting thing to me about Eagle Blue is seeing how living in Fort Yukon is like and how tight knit of a community it is. This book is incredibly educating on including different view points and being very hone ...more
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The son of a U.S. Navy submarine officer, Mike grew up traveling often -- his family lived on or near military bases ranging from Key West to San Diego to Frankfurt, Germany -- before he graduated from high school near Washington, D.C. in 1971. After finishing undergraduate school at the College of William and Mary in 1975 with a degree in Philosophy, Mike spent several years traveling and working ...more
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