It was published on March 1, and it is also the inspiration for the Disney movie Snow Dogs. Plot[ edit ] The story begins with a poverty stricken Gary Paulsen and his wife Ruth living in a cabin in the woods of Minnesota, where he uses a team of dogs to pull a sled as he checks his trap lines. Paulsen returns home from a particularly lengthy trip and settles the dogs down in their kennel. However, he discovers that he is unable to enter the cabin. Although they had talked about the Iditarod prior to this point, and wondered at the insanity of the Mushers who competed in it, it is at this moment, with this confession, that Ruth knows Paulsen will compete.
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He draws on his experience as an avid outdoors man to write his amazing books, i. Within the first couple pages of Winterdance, Paulsen is careening around in the Minnesota back woods on a sled that is being pulled by a pack of dogs. The book could end right then and there as he goes off the edge of a cliff, but he manages to survive and so do all his dogs.
That somehow inspired Paulsen to decide that he wanted to run the ultimate of dog sledding events -- The Iditarod. He titles his book, The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod because he knows how crazy this pursuit truly is.
Yet he begins his preparation as his wife questions his sanity. There begins a remarkable journey. He has to acquire the appropriate dogs to pull his sled, he has to train himself for the hundreds of hours of running, he has to prepare himself for the lack of sleep and a lack of food. While all this sounds like a trip through Hell, Paulsen tells his tale -- or tail -- in a hilarious and incredible voice. As the time draws near to the start of the Iditarod, Paulsen and his dogs are ready.
As he writes about the Burn, and all the other aspects of the race, you will feel all the ups and downs of actually running the Iditarod yourself. I was literally up until in the morning last week -- on a weekday with work looming ahead of me in a few short hours, laughing. Pick up this book and laugh out loud!
Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod
Winterdance by Gary Paulsen Summary & Study Guide