Chris is excited when his uncle invites him to sail from Alaska to home in California--especially when he discovers it means he will have to miss school! Then he meets another boy on board the ship with Uncle Jack, and he doesn't even know who he is. When the trip takes a disastrous turn, and Chris and Frank are left to fend for themselves, it becomes very important for them to forge an alliance, if not a friendship. Surviving in the Alaskan wilderness certainly has a lot of challenges for these boys, one of whom has never even been fishing before, but they luck into finding a cabin and then use their wits to learn quickly what they need to survive. The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence (Lexile: 670; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) is a fantastic adventure story that makes you wonder how well you would survive in the wild. It is a fantastic addition to the 2016-2017 Indian Paintbrush Nominee list.
Readers who enjoy Gary Paulsen's Brian books, Julie of the Wolves, or other such survival adventures will enjoy The Skeleton Tree. (288 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.