'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Review: Stay: The Last Dog in Antarctica

Stay is a fibreglass dog whose purpose is to collect money for Royal Guide Dogs Tasmania. Late one night, she's dognapped from her position outside a Hobart supermarket and ends up in Antarctica. A crazy idea for a novel, you might think, except that it's all true!

This is the first book in a new animal series by award-winning author Jesse Blackadder, and it's a clever blend of real-life adventure, fictional embellishment and fascinating insights into life — both animal and human — at an Antarctic research station.

Stay was dognapped in 1991 and arrived in Antarctica for the last season in which huskies were used. (Dogs are no longer used in Antarctica due to environmental concerns.) Through the eyes of Stay, we meet the people who are drawn to this last wilderness and learn what it's like to live in a land of ice and snow. But the book is also a great adventure story. Stay is hidden, 'slimed' by King Neptune, broken, repaired, chained up, betrayed, peed on by a husky and lost down a crevasse.

To this day, she remains in Antarctica, continuing her adventures (complete with her own Antarctic passport) and even has her own Facebook page!

As someone who has always had a fascination for the southernmost continent, I thoroughly enjoyed the depiction of Antarctic life, but this book will also have much to offer animal lovers as well as readers in search of an adventure story with a difference.

Title: Stay: The Last Dog in Antarctica
Author: Jesse Blackadder
Publisher: ABC Books, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: July 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780733331770
For ages: 8–12
Type: Middle Fiction

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