Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Swift” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.85  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  22 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 Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Swift, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Swift

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  22 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, for-the-boys
Firstly, the thing my son and I liked best about the book is the story telling. The first person narrative from a child doesn't feel forced or fabricated. The flow is great, and the pacing is rather exciting.

Secondly, the authors note at the end went a long way in explaining the story. At first glance, the entire thing is a bit morbid to people that live in the 'civilized' world (if you can pardon me that expression), as the story is about hunting, escaping and eventually, killing, a grizzly be
Trissa White
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really adore the oil paint illustrations that Mr. Blake does. The stories are always really good.
Nevada Libert
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome-dogs
amazing dog! lllllooooovvvvveeee iiiitttt.
This book is bleak. One thing after another. I felt a little disconcerted reading it out loud to my nephew - turning the page for the drama only to heighten, the bad news keeps coming. And yet, it is not a bad story. And I really liked the art work.
Timothy Farring
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot
I think I would add this book to a set about outdoor safety
I feel that the art added to the tension in places
4 stars for the artwork, 2 stars for the story. I just didn't really care for it. I have loved some of Blake's other work.
Jun 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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 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!
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations. I love the loyalty of Swift. I love that Johnnie has to learn and grow up quick to help his dad. He has to be strong and wise and courageous. I like that there is truth, research, and historical accuracy that goes into this book.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Vibrant illustrations and an exciting story.
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really really liked the dog and I know Owen's sister Madison would like it because she is a dog lover.
Mar 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I think it is really good, because I am one who really likes animals. I think the animal had really good character.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
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.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
A picture book that includes older children in its audience. This is a great lead into other outdoor survival stories like My Side of the Mountain.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2018
Danielle Gribbins
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2013
Megan Marvel
rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2013
Laura H.
rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2013
Amanda Hamilton
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2011
rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2019
rated it liked it
Apr 17, 2013
rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »