Synopses & Reviews
"A beautiful and moving story of courage and love."Ray Bradbury
Praise for The Great Death:
"An amazing story."Frank McCourt
"Gripping and poignant. . . . An unforgettable survival tale."Horn Book
"A beautiful, poignant story."Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize winner
"Graphically illustrates the effects of a plague on isolated peoples."School Library Journal
"An engaging tale of survival."Kirkus Reviews
Praise for The Trap:
"An unforgettable story. Brilliant!"Ray Bradbury
"A gripping example of talented storytelling. Unforgettable."Tony Hillerman
Praise for The Edge of Nowhere:
"More psychological depth than Robinson Crusoe."Frank McCourt
Praise for Alaskan:
"Smelcer is Alaska's modern-day Jack London."W.P. Kinsella
"A celebration of the diversity of cultures. Undeniably important!"James Michener
"An indispensible contribution to Alaskan literature."JD Salinger
"This writer speaks from the land, and for the land, and the people who belong to it."Ursula K. Le Guin
Deneena Yazzie's love of the woods and trail come from her grandfather, who teaches her their all-but-vanished Native Alaskan language. While her peers lose hope, trapped between the old and the modern cultures, and turn to destructive behaviors, Denny and her mysterious lead dog, a blue-eyed wolf, train for the Great Racegiving her town a new pride and hope.
John Smelcer is poetry editor of Rosebud and the author of more than forty books. He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and the last surviving reader and writer of Ahtna. John holds degrees in archeology, linguistics, literature, and education, and formerly chaired the Alaska Native Studies program and the University of Alaska (Anchorage).
A half-Indian with an outcast wolf as lead dog, Deneena attempts the Great Race to prove herself and her heritage.
About the Author
John Smelcer is the poetry editor of Rosebud
magazine and the author of more than forty books. He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and is now the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna. Carl Sagan wrote, in a foreword to one of Johns poetry collections, no other ethnic writer shares such a heavy cultural burden.” John holds degrees in archeology, linguistics, literature, and education, and formerly chaired the Alaska Native Studies program and the University of Alaska (Anchorage).
His first novel, The Trap, was an American Library Association BBYA Top Ten Pick, a VOYA Top Shelf Selection, and a New York Public Library Notable Book. The Great Death was short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Award. His third YA multicultural adventure novel, Edge of Nowhere, was also published in the UK, where The Independent named it one of the Best Teen Books of 2010.” His Alaska Native mythology books include The Raven and the Totem (introduced by Joseph Campbell). His short stories, poems, essays, and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines. John divides his time between a cabin in Talkeetna, the climbing capitol of Alaska, and Kirksville, MO.
John Smelcer is the winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation, which was nominated for a Pulitzer.
The Great Death
Nominated for The National Book Award, the BookTrust Prize (England), and the American Library Association's Award for American Indian YA Literature
Listed along with The Incredible Journey as one of the greatest adventure stories in The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature (foreword by Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked)
Short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Book Award for Children's Literature.