Just Beyond the Very, Very Far North by Dan Bar-el

5 stars Chilren’s Fiction

I was thrilled to see this sequel because after I had read the first book in this series, I needed more of Duane and his friends.  I love the way that the author narrates the books and I really enjoy the characters.  It’s how the characters relate to one another, how they view themselves in their world and their own unique personalities that make these characters stand out.  You don’t need to have previously read the first book to enjoy this book in the series but I highly recommend that you read it because you’ll love it.

His winter slumber is over, as Duane walks out to find his friends and they bring him up-to-date on what he has missed.  Starving, the friends head down to the beach for a picnic.  They were a great, cheerful group of friends but now, a new face has arrived and he’s causing waves among the small group.   It seems that this weasel has a comment about everything and everyone.  They’re such a tight group of friends that, when one of them is affected by the weasel, the whole group is impacted.  That darn weasel!

There were some great moments in the book, moments that made me smile and laugh.  I loved how Duane removed the snow without using a shovel.  If only that would work in real life, I would love to be able to do that.  As I sit here now, in Iowa with over 14 inches of snow on the ground, I’m thinking I could roll myself a nice-sized fort.   The concern and the effort that the characters put forth for Duane and Boo was so sweet.   That’s what friends do for each other and they each did what they wanted and what they were capable of doing also.   I can’t wait to see how much Musk Ox changed, if any, when he returns back to the Very, Very Far North.   I was afraid that he was going to be gone for a while but I’m glad to see that he’s coming back shortly.  I enjoyed the letter he wrote.

This was a great sequel and I can’t wait to share it with my grandchildren when they get older.  It’d make a great read aloud or it’s a great chapter book.