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Black Star, Bright Dawn

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,322 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Bright Dawn was a teenaged Eskimo girl. Black Star was her part-husky, mostly wolf, pet. Together they were about to begin the famous Iditarod dogsled race through the bitter cold of Alaska. Bright Dawn knew they would win, but she didn't count on the cold, blinding whiteout, the belligerent bull moose, or ice that could crack and splinter at any time. And she soon realize ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 30th 1989 by Fawcett (first published January 1st 1988)
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Abigail No, that one is Stone Fox and I highly recomend it if you haven't read it.…moreNo, that one is Stone Fox and I highly recomend it if you haven't read it.(less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  1,322 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Maureen Milton
A fourth grade student and I agreed to each read a different volume of Scott O'Dell's and I chose "Black Star, Bright Dawn," and I am glad. It is the story of an Eskimo girl whose family moves from the coast inland after her father, Bartok, is stranded on an ice floe while seal hunting. While he survives physically, he leaves his profession & agrees to train for the Iditarod (a grueling dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska). Soon he is injured. His daughter, 18-year-old Bright Dawn, agree ...more
Night in the Library_94
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! I don't typically read adventure style books but this was great. I loved the fact that through it all we as the readers were still exposed to cultural realities and deep underlying issues such as gender roles (what a woman can and can't do), age expectations (oh! she's too young), and race or losing touch with a person's roots. This book was a bit slow at first and really I think it was due to the fact that I'm not used to the genre.

I truly recommend this book to anyon
This should appeal to any child (or young adult) who has any desire to run the Iditarod. I can't imagine choosing to compete against such extreme weather.

In several places, Bright Dawn encounters moose, reportedly threatening and unpredictable animals. I have inadvertently been within ten feet of a moose at least six times, twice when it was a cow with a calf. I never felt the least bit threatened. I wonder if the danger is greater for the Iditarod competitors because they are in the company of
Victoria Wilson
Sep 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
i had to read it for my english class. and i hated it. very poorly writen. plot holes and it jumps all over the place. dislike.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
I felt like I was reading a travel log rather than a novel.
O'Dell may have been aiming to communicate the stoicism of his characters, but they come across as one-dimensional. I do not need sentimentality, but I do need some depth of character in order to connect with and cheer on my main character.
For me, a real missed opportunity involving a girl, her best dog, and a grueling challenge to overcome.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Scott O’Dell’s book Black Star, Bright Dawn is about a girl whose father gets injured after being stranded out on an ice sheet for days, just before he’s supposed to race in the Iditarod race. So 18-year old Bright Dawn agrees to take his place and train her 7 dogs for many months. As she goes through this race she encounters many obstacles along the way. But with her strong head and big heart she’s able to finish the race. I think that this book is a very good book for anyone who’s trying to l ...more
Lauren Gibson
Apr 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: eced-221
I read the book Black Star,Bright Dawn by Scott O'Dell
SUMMARY: This story is about a girl Bright Dawn and her Eskimo family. Black Star has a special relationship with the leader of a pack of mushers, whose name was Black Star. Bright Dawn's brother died some years before in an ice accident and ever since then Bright Dawn has been hers dads companion on the ice, until the day he gets stuck on a floating iceberg. It is when he is rescued he realizes he never wants to be on the ice again so they m
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Black Star, Bright Dawn by Scott O'dell is about a teenage Eskimo girl. She has a pet dog, partly wolf. This book is very adventurous, exciting, and heartwarming. She goes with her dog on a famous dogsled race, the Iditarod. It was a cold, very snowy trip. I liked this book a lot because of the action I would recommend this to anyone who likes non- fiction. ...more
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
My 4th grade teacher read this book aloud in class when we were learning about and following the Iditarod that year. After that, I began a habit of tying my beanie baby dogs up like sled dogs and reenacting the book with them. This book also began my love of adventure books with wolves and dogs. I must have checked out this book a dozen times from the library in the following few years-it was one of those books I always wanted to re-read.
Destinee Sutton
A kid just asked me for a book about the Iditarod and I immediately thought of this. I probably read it five times when I was eleven years old. I remember it being soooo good, but I'm a little afraid to reread it. It's so depressing when your childhood favorites don't measure up to your standards as an adult. ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it liked it
this book was ok. i defiantly learned a lot about how the eskmos live their lives. I also lerned al lot about dog sledding and how it effects the eskmoes' life because it was a form of transpertation. over all the book was good but i thought is was a solw reader. this book relates my life because i almost lost my dad in a hilocoptor crash. ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was okay. I didn't like all the spirit stuff, but other than that the story was exciting. The writing style was a little weird at first but I got used to it. It's a good book and a quick read. ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Set in Alaska there are no leads opening. Instead the dogs are harnessed to hunt bearded seals. Black Star is the lead dog and much loved by Bright Dawn. Bartok, Bright Dawn's father, is not of the same opinion. Whilst hunting was typically men's work, since the death of her brother, Bright Dawn has become like a son. Alas Bartok gets stranded on a broken ice floe. Not only does he lose all the fingers on his right hand but it has scarred him emotionally. The doctor says they need to move away f ...more
Coy W
Jan 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book is in Wom something in Alaska where Dawn and her Dad are hunting for seals and he gets trapped on a piece of ice and floats away. A few days later they find him and all his fingers are gone except his thumb? So the doctor says you should move away from the ocean because her dad won't ever go outside and is a crybaby all the sudden. They move to a town where Dawn learns to dog race. Then here father get big on dog racing and he get an offer. The offer is he gets to go to this big race a ...more
Lisa  Montgomery
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is another one of those books I read years ago and have recently revisited.
At only 144 pages, this is an easy read. It has a lead sled dog that is part dog, but mostly wolf, a cross country sled race, dangerous climate, and an 18-year-old Inuit, Bright Dawn, who stands in for her father, who faced a nearly fatal entrapment in ice and the phobia that cripples him.
Oteg is the father-like figure during the sledding competition. The thing I did not like this time that I did not notice the fir
Gwen Testa
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good map included to trace the route the race follows.
“There was also a church where the Reverend Cartwright told us about God and the Devil, about heaven and hellfire. I got mixed up listening to him, because I had always believed in the God Sila...Sila is a mystery. He lives far apart from us, way off in nothingness...But he watches to see that we do not harm the world we live in—the air and water, our friends the animals, the land and the sky.” Pg. 25-26
“But most of all I was happy about myse
If I'd read this twenty years ago when I was going through my childhood sled dog obsession phase, I probably would have rated it higher. As it was, I felt like it had a lot of potential, and a good story, as well as some interesting characters, but never quite capitalized on those aspects. I understand that it's a middle grade book, but it could have been a bit longer, incorporated a bit more character development, and been an excellent book instead of just an okay one. I'm now curious as to whe ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animal-classics
All though many others wrote their story of racing the Iditarod, for
example Gary Paulsen, I especially enjoyed the book by Scott O'Dell called
Black Star, Bright Dawn. The teenaged Eskimo girl is Bright Dawn. Her
dog which is part huskey part wolf is named Black Star.
Bright Dawn did not come in first.
However, she did win two different awards the best of which in my mind
was for "sportsmanship", Duly noted. She will be well remembered for
running that specific race by the other mushers whom she h
Isabella Pina
More like a 3.5. I absolutely loved this book. It was an excellent short novel that will stick with me for a time to come. The only problem I had was that it was a little confusing at some points and I had to reread the page multiple times to fully grasp and understand what it was saying. Otherwise, I think this book was an excellent book with a storyline that you don't hear much about, dogsled racing and the famous Iditarod. ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like O’Dell’s other works, this novella features a strong female character and spare, beautiful language. Though I agree with some reviewers this could have been longer, it is also a great work as it stands. It worked particularly well as a car read-aloud as it is short enough to finish quickly and maintain attention.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Black Star, Bright Dawn by Scott O'dell follows a young First Nations woman throught her first Iditarod race. A single sitting book, quick paced, heavy on details and a focus on sportmanship and deep care for working animals. Great for kids who like fast pacing, low risk adventures. No gore or graphic depictions. Might be a good classroom read aloud. ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
By far one of my favorites as a kid. I think I read it first at about 10 or 11 and then read it again frequently afterwards. By far my favorite of all of O’Dell’s work. I loved Bright Dawns spirit and her brave and bold decision to run the famous Alaskan dogsled race. So ahead of her time! And I adored Black Star’s loyalty to her and their goal. I was enthralled with this book from page one.
Katie Stein
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this as a read-along for Henry's fifth grade reading (him in French, me in English). Although the idea and setting was interesting, it was pretty spare and more understated than I prefer. As always, fun to talk about with Henry. ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-readers
I remember loving Island of the Blue Dolphins, so I wanted to read this one as well. It's always hard to judge books for young readers as an adult, but I can imagine I would have loved this one as well. ...more
Jolene Elison
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I adore all things Alaska. Add to that dogs, survival, and a strong female character and I am hooked. I liked this better than Island of the Blue Dolphins by the same author. Surviving Antartica Reality TV 2083 is my favorite cold weather story for young adults.
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book about an young girl who enters the Iditarod race. Learned about the Eskimo culture and about this famous dog sled race. The title is the young girl Bright Dawn and the lead dog Black Star.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
It was okay. I guess I just wasn't that interested in an Alaskan sled dog race. ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 for the unusual setting and straightforward approachable storytelling.
May 12, 2017 added it
2017- Read for school as a possible replacement for another Scott O'Dell book. I think this would appeal to more students (especially lower-level readers). ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth
Strong, clear story line. I wish there was a sequel!
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Scott O'Dell (May 23, 1898 – October 16, 1989) was an American children's author who wrote 26 novels for youngsters, along with three adult novels and four nonfiction books. He was most famously the author of the children's novel Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), which won the 1961 Newbery Medal as well as a number of other awards. Other award winning books by O'Dell include The King's Fifth (19 ...more

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