Title: Diamond Willow
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Date Finished: 23 Jan 2009
My Rating: 3 Stars
Challenges: Library, New Author, 100 +
In the interior of Alaska 12 year old Willow helps her father with their sled dogs. Willow is shy and considers the lead dog, Roxy, to be her best friend.
She has never taken the dogs out on her own but believes she can mush them to her grandparent's home 12 miles away. She wants her parents to realize she is not a little girl anymore and to listen to her and trust her. After an accident occurs on the trail Willow will have to face some difficult decisions and prove to herself and her family just how grown up she really is.
Willow's story is told in diamond shaped poems with hidden messages printed within each poem. The parts of the story that are told in prose are the spirits of Willow's ancestors who inhabit various animals and look after Willow. I liked this creative approach to telling the story and give my kudos to Helen Frost for the execution of this story.
I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of this book but things started getting a little strange for me towards the end. I liked seeing Willow's growth and the way she was able to find her strength. Willow's character felt very authentic in her desire for friends, and to have her parents listen to her and trust her. Some of the major plot points just didn't work for me.
Check out this page at Helen Frost's web site to see a picture of a diamond Willow stick and to see an example of the diamond shaped poems.