Friday, July 10, 2009

Reading to Inspire a Hike

Ever have some trouble getting the kids motivated for a hike?  How about your spouse?  Maybe you are married to someone that has a hard time understanding why you want to wonder around sleeping in the woods for weeks at a time?  Well, I was wondering around Campmor a few weeks ago and stumbled across this children’s book Halfway to the Sky by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.  It’s written for pre-teens (of which I have two).  It looked interesting so I picked it up.  I read it first (Sometime ago I was under the misguided impression that I could read all the books my kids read – before them to make sure they are OK.  This long ago went by the wayside since my eleven year old daughter reads about twice as fast as me and has five times more time to do it).


Halfway to the Sky is the story of a twelve year old girl, Dani how is going through a tough time.  Her older brother died of muscular dystrophy and her parents are recently divorced.  Dani runs away from home.  So that her parents don’t find her, she plans to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.  Her mother figures out where she has gone and catches up to her on her second night.  Dani is able to convince her mom to hike with her for a while.

During their hike, the experience of the trail is a catharsis for Dani and she is able to let go of her anger.  In the process Dani and her mom have bonded together.  When my daughter finished this book I could see she gained both a better understanding of how to deal with grief and anger and a much better understanding of how hiking and backpacking can free a person from the day-to-day ruts we all get stuck in.  It is always hard to put into words and explain to someone why it is we really love hiking.  This book allows the reader to get some insight into what the trail experience is like. 

The book is written for children, but after my daughters good reaction to it, my wife read it also.  Same reaction. I highly recommend it.


BTW: The links for the book on this page go to Amazon.com; If you by this $5.99 book via one of these links, this web site gets a 24 cent commission on the sale!  All I need to do is get about 25 people to buy this book and it will pay for the copy i purchase at Campmor!


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