IditaREAD Trail Blazer Reports
(Please refresh your browser. Updates reflect all reports received as of 3/24/16 at 11:07 p..m..)

Students (and parents) report on observations about books read!  Your reports may be a summary of an interview that your parent does with you. You may want to use the graphic organizers from Houghton Mifflin or Scholastic. Another help is the information at Education Northwest that provides a rubric for evaluating writing.  We're looking forward to hearing about your books. Thanks for allowing us to join you on the trail!

To send a report from your reading race trail, please email with the subject line IditaREAD.  Thank you!

Leonard Anderson - Patriot Games

Lysette Doran ~ The Moonstone Castle Mystery

Anakin Hass ~ The Adventures of Huck Finn

Anakin Hass ~ The Ranger's Apprentice – The Ruins of Gorlan

Anakin Hass ~ Warriors into the Wild

Brielle Hass ~ Facing the Enemy

Brielle Hass ~ The Frog Princess

Lily Peaches ~ The Biggest Bear

Lily Peaches ~ The Giant Cabbage

Lily Peaches ~ Great-Grandfather in the Honey Tree

Lily Peaches ~ Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear


The Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain

It’s Anakin again and now I’m at McGrath with the book called, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by
Mark Twain.

The story is about a boy named Huck who runs away from his civilized life, and finds a runaway slave named Jim.  Together they embark on probably the weirdest journey ever: They catch a catfish as big as a man! They also have to lie to watchmen because a man who was on a river boat was going to drown. Huck couldn’t save the man ‘cause there was robbers with guns. Trying to save him would cost him his own life.  They also lie about waiting on a fake king and duke because of Jim’s loyalty to his dream of royalty. He didn’t want to tell his friend that these guys were “nobodys”.

I think this book is great.  It reminds me of an adventure I would like to go on. But now I have to go and read more if I’m going to beat you to Nome, Dallas

The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward

There are many books I wish to tell you about, but I am limited to what I read racing Martin Buser.  The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward was first published in 1952.  It reminds me of my brother because it is about a rifle packing boy who wants to shoot a bear.  This boy is ashamed because everyone in the whole valley has bear hides hanging up, but his own Grandpa ran away when he encountered a bear.  "Better a bear in the orchard than an Orchard in the bear."  says Grandpa.  So the boy is determined to go harvest his own bear, but returns instead with a cute black bear cub.   This is the beginning of many troubles as the bear grows and loves to eat.  The boy and bear get in trouble from neighbors because of the bear finding food that wasn't meant for him.  The boy must get rid of his bear and when leaving him behind in different locations doesn't work, he takes his rifle into the woods with his bear friend.  Then it has a happy ending.  I'll let you read what happens and not ruin it for you.

Facing the Enemy by Kathleen Ernst

Hi Aliy!

Hi! My name is Brielle Hass. I am 8 years old. I just finished reading “Facing The Enemy” by author Kathleen Ernst, and I am so excited!  As of right now I am at the Rohn checkpoint.

So I bet you have been thinking… What is the book like? Well my friend, I will tell you… But first, I have a few questions for you, Aliy: Why did you send one of your dogs back? What place are you in? What check point are you at?

Now to tell you about the book. There once was a girl named Caroline. Caroline’s uncle had bought a new farm.  Uncle Aaron (Caroline’s uncle) had sent a letter asking for Caroline so that she could help with the chores. So Caroline went to the farm. There she met a cow named Minerva and her calf. When she got back home her father had a surprise! Her father had built a boat for her. She was so happy!  And there is a lot more to all that...

That is part two of the Caroline series from American Girls.  I like this book because Caroline is a lot like me. I hope you win the Iditarod!  I will see you at the finish line!

Read, Read! Mush, Mush!

The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker

It’s me, Brielle Hass, again. I just finished The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker. I had to read 30 pages straight (30 miles) just to finish the book today and arrive at Cripple.

Basically the book is about a princess that gets turned into a frog by kissing a prince who himself was turned into a frog (by offending a witch)! So then they hop here and there and just about everywhere. Then they realize they have to kiss each other again! Eadric (the frog prince) was so happy, and Emma (the frog princess) thought she lost her mind! But then they kissed again and became humans!

Next I will read Lost and Found, a Caroline book of the American Girls. Now if you will excuse me, I’m trying to get to Nome!

The Giant Cabbage by ?

I'm sorry this will have to be my last report.  Brother, Toddy Vermin Ragenham and sister, Shaddy Gree Hamster both want to write Trail Blazer Reports and want Mom and I off the computer.  I can't find the book I want to report on.  Is this like loosing a dog on the trail or after the race?  It is an Alaskan book.  I think it is called the The Giant Cabbage.   It is about a Moose who picks out his biggest cabbage from his garden and wants to enter it into the Alaska State Fair contest for big cabbages.  It is so big, giant, enormous that he can't move it by himself.  Then neighbor after neighbor stop by until finally everyone together, including a little vole, are able to push the cabbage into the truck. Then they are all off to the fair.   The repeated words in the story mom usaully summerizes as she gets tired of saying them again and again. I like the message of working together and every little bit of help is a help.  Like this morning we all slept in until 7:30 so mom made the pancake batter,  Toddy and Shaddy and I cooked the pancakes and eggs while I also set the table and Mom cleared the dishes at he sink from last  We were working together and my five- year- old part was a help too.  Besides the great message in this book,  the art work is very good.  I wish I could find that dog...I mean book to report who did the art.  At the end is a cabbage soup recipe that is really pretty delicous.  I do recommend  this book, and because I'm a kid I don't mind the repeating phrases again and again. 

Great-Grandfather in the Honey Tree by Sam and Zoa Swayne

This is a Trail Blazer Report from Lily Peaches.   Lily Peaches is my only my racing name.

It was easy to beat Martin Buser because the books my Mom, Dad, sister and brother read to me have only a few sentences per page!  Sorry Martin.

I want to tell you about one of our favorite books.  It is called Great-Grandfather in the Honey Tree, by Sam and Zoa Swayne.  It was first published in 1949.
Why is it one of our favorites?  Because it is about harvesting; a very unrealistic, bountiful harvesting.   Newly married Great-Grandfather and Grandmother go off on their own and build a home.  Great-Grandfather is encouraged to go out to get meat for he is chopping wood all the time and they are eating hominy over and over.  He has only one load for his gun and no powder will be delivered until a barge comes up the river. He takes a bird net, his rifle with only one shot, horse and stone boat and is off to see what can be done.  It all is very believable, until every action somehow lands him more game, fish and fowl.  He even loads up on honey!   When Great-Grandpa returns home tired, Grandma takes over and begins  taking care of all the food, which includes saving the feathers from the fowl for beds for their future 9 children.
We wish this book would get a new printing as the ones we have are all library discards from online and stinky.  Still we treasure the story and buy the old stinky books for other family's that understand harvesting. 

Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear by Ken Kesey

What I, iditareader, Lily Peaches likes about this next book is how the bear and his next victim says," I'll run,"  says the marten.  "I can run too-oo,"  says the bear.  "I'll jump," says the marten.  "I can jump too-oo," says the bear.  "I'll climb," says the marten.  "I can climb too-oo," says the bear... The "too-oo" part is repeated with each animal he eats up, until Little Tricker the squirrel tricks Big Double the bear.  This book, Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear is by Ken Kesey.  Ken is the man who also wrote world famous novels One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion.  We didn't know he wrote this great kids book too until our friend Dennis Sperl read us his a couple years ago!  My mom likes to read the bears voice, "Again I says HONGRY!  And I don't mean lunchtime snacktime littletime hongry, I mean grumpy grouchy bedtime hongry.  I live big, I sleep big..."  Maybe Mom relates to his appetite and Big Doubles liking to eat?  So the pictures are really well done watercolors, the story is fun, but the way it is told is unlike any book I've heard.  Amazing descriptions are line after line.  Here's another good one, "But the big old bear with his big old legs springs after him like a rocket ship roaring, and takes the rabbit over at the peak of his jump, and snags him up, and swallers him down, ears, elbows, and everything."  The whole book is action packed like this!  Mom says it was published in 1990 by Pennyroyal Press, Inc.  I hope you can find a copy for yourself!

The Moonstone Castle Mystery by Carolyn Keen

In this Nancy Drew mystery Nancy, Bess and George go to Deep River.  They swim through a moat and investigate Moonstone Castle.  They are trying to figure out why the drawbridge is being opened and closed.  Nancy is in danger.  Can Bess and George save her?  I liked this book because it was exciting and I couldn’t wait to finish it.
Lysette Doran

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

Patriot Games is by Tom Clancy and is a fictional story. This book is about a CIA analyst (Jack Ryan) who saves the Prince of Wales from a terrorist attack. The terrorists then try to kill Jack, his wife Cathy and his daughter Sally. They fail, but try again to kill Jack and the Prince of Wales when he visits the Ryans’ for dinner. The terrorists almost succeed, but once again fail and this time all the terrorists are captured.

In this book I learned how helpful modern technology can be to prevent terrorism, and how terrorists can use that same technology for their own purposes. Jack Ryan showed bravery and courage by putting himself in harm’s way to protect his wife and child.

I would definitely recommend this book to others, but not to readers under the age of thirteen as there is some usage of strong language in the book. Patriot Games, Tom Clancy. Berkley Books, New York, 1988.

The Ranger's Apprentice – The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

It's Anakin again and I beat you to Nome with "The Ranger's Apprentice"! By only a couple of hours though. This is the first book in a series by John Flanagan.

The main character is a boy named Will. He was a part of the Ward Orphanage. He never knew his mother and only knew that his father died a hero. He had a rough life with the other ward mates, specially Horace. Alyss and Jenny weren't bad, but they didn't help in fights between Will and Horace. George wasn't much of a "talker". As you can see, Will didn't live a better life than either of us.

When Choosing Day came, Will felt miserable. After joining Battle School and Horse School both failed, Will had nothing else to decide. Had Halt the Ranger not appeared out of thin air, Will would still be in the Ward. "Will, what are your skills?" Halt asked. "I can climb, sir," was all Will answered. Halt gave the Baron of Castle Redmont a letter with those who had been chosen to be Ranger Apprentices… Was Will chosen?

You will have to read for yourself. Other than some inappropriate language in the book, it is great! My favorite part is when will killed a mythical creature, the Kalkara, with fire. Until the next race, Dallas!

Warriors into the Wild by Erin Hunter

My name is Anakin Hass and I am in fourth grade. I am also currently at Checkpoint Rohn with a book called "WARRIORS Into the wild". The author is named Erin Hunter. I am in a race called the Idita- READ. I am reading against Dallas Seavey, who is mushing in the Iditarod. Last time I checked, he had just entered Rainy Pass Checkpoint.

The main character is Rusty who is a cat, and lives in a two-leg's (human) house. His best friend is a cat named Smudge, who lives in the house beside his. There are two maps. One is the cat's view, the other, a two-leg's. In the cat's view, there are four camps, The Four-trees, rivers, and the thunderpath. One camp, called the Thunderclan camp, is in the middle of a forest near where Rusty lives. Going north into the thunderpath, you meet what cats call "monsters". On the other side, you meet ShadowClan territory. But if you go west, into the river near the Thunderclan's camp, you will end up in Owl-tree, which is not far from Four-trees.

The plot is that Thunderclan doesn't have enough warriors. So, they start looking for house cats that are willing to leave their easy life and fight for Thunderclan. Then one night Rusty, after following
his dream smell, went out of his garden to catch a mouse. That's where he met Graypaw, who was the apprentice of LionHeart. Rusty joined the clan the day after that. When he got to the camp, after he fought an elder, named Longtail, he got his new name, Firepaw. After that, Firepaw trained hard, hunted shrews and mice, and had fun with Graypaw. He helped the clan with food and supplies. When he got in trouble for feeding a rogue named Yellowfang, not only did he have to take care of her and share tongues (cleaning and tell the news of the day) with her, but was to train under the honorary Bluestar!

To me this book is great! I am glad I read it. I think you will like it too. It is long, but worth the while. My favorite part was when Firepaw got a new name as a warrior, Fireheart! It inspired me to let my cat go in the wild. I like it because Firepaw seems brave like me. Now I have to read or else I won't beat Dallas to Nome!


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