The Skeleton Tree | Iain Lawrence

The cover of Lawrence's The Skeleton TreeAh, the old bait-and-switch.

I ordered this book expecting a good survival story that I could share with my son. The Skeleton Tree is about two boys stranded in the Alaskan wilderness. Visions of Lost in the Barrens danced in my head. Unfortunately, much of the book was taken up with the relationships and broken family history of the two boys. Survivalism took a back seat.

Lawrence is a Governor General’s Award winning author of young adult fiction, so I’m aware that this opinion reflects my own biases more than the quality of the writing. Lawrence’s prose is crisp and descriptive. Still, if this reflects the state of young adult adventure writing, I’ll stick with the classics.

—Iain Lawrence, The Skeleton Tree: Only the Wild Survive. (Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2016).

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