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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There is magic in the air as the teams arrive and prepare for the Junior Iditarod, the legendary dogsled race across the northern wonderland of Alaska. Siblings Stella and Billy are running their teams. But the route is full of danger and the two young people must use their wits and the power of their connection with their dogs to make it safely to the finish line. And, they must use the magic bestowed upon them – Stella with her special red cape and Billy with his magical staff. There are animal protectors, too, a raven and a fox, and then there’s the special wolf-human shape-shifting fairy godmother, Grannie-Can-Do. Yes, there is magic, and there is a sense that this fairy tale of a young girl in a red cape, set against the evil powers of the wolves, has been told before.
Suzy Davies's young people’s novel, The Girl in the Red Cape: A Mystical Sled Ride, takes the adventure of dogsled racing across the frozen Alaskan wilderness and weaves a magical tale of a young girl coming of age. The symbolism of the red cape is fortuitous and magical and the beauty of the landscape, the night sky, and the northern lights come together to create a tale of endurance, of growing maturity, and of doing what is right as the siblings, Stella and Billy, and their Inuit step-brother, Tom, face multiple dangers following not only the legendary dogsled race route but their own trail of life’s adventures. The beautiful illustrations help tell this classic tale of the northern Red Riding Hood. A powerful story, a classic legend - the descriptive passages draw the reader into this story, allowing them to feel the fear, the cold, and the danger.