Just Keep Walking
Jo’s father promised her they would hike nearly a hundred miles of the Superior Hiking Trail, just as he had done with her brother years before. But Dad left two years ago, choosing another family over Jo and her mom. Mom and Jo are hiking together, and Jo isn’t going to settle for anything under a hundred miles. It’s so much harder than Jo ever thought it would be. Their packs are heavy and the freeze-dried food isn’t great. They meet one of Mom’s former students on the trail, traveling with her partner and dog, and they decide to travel together for a while. It’s a good thing they do because Mom hurts her ankle badly. Is this the end of their trip? Does Dad win after all?
Erin Soderberg Downing has written a compelling adventure that will keep young readers engaged. Themes of loss, family, and perseverance make this a rich story. The writing is fine, and Downing’s personal experience hiking the SHT brings a real sense of the place. Jo’s first-person point of view draws readers in, although they might be put off by Jo’s very repetitious focus on her father. Otherwise, this is a fine story.
|Erin Soderberg Downing
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