Coming of age in the Age of Aquarius.
Author Shelley Gill was seventeen-years-old in 1972 and a free spirit protesting the Vietnam War, marching for civil rights, and finding her way in a changing world. While volunteering in the medical tent at the first Rainbow Gathering in Granby, Colorado, Shelley met Gabe—a blue merle husky mix puppy abandoned by his owner. Gabe quickly became Shelley’s best friend and protector. They travelled the country together, hitchhiking to New Orleans, to Indiana, to New York City, to the Rocky Mountains, and eventually to Alaska, where they stayed.
Shelley Gill has lived full-force, grabbing life by the horns and not letting go. Her spirit and attitude are ever-present in this autobiography, which is a snapshot of a turbulent time in American history, as well as a love-letter to cherished dog.
Over five brisk chapters, Gill (Alaska's Dog Heroes) shares stories from her itinerant youth with an adoptive husky named Gabe as her steadfast companion. As readers follow Gill from city apartments to a Colorado teepee and the Alaskan wilderness, "big and wild and full of possibilities," newcomer Scheff evokes the 1970s setting in dynamic full-bleed images that blend a whiff of psychedelia with the sweeping lines of the Art Nouveau movement and a comic-book sense of dramatic action. Through it all, Gill's relationship with Gabe is at the forefront; this is as much a tribute to him as it is autobiography. It's an undeniably unusual project a middle-grade memoir in the form of an illustrated chapter book yet Gil never talks down to her audience, whether mentioning the rampant drugs on the street in 1970s New Orleans or a stint working illegally as a bartender. For readers beginning to realize that a conventional path may not be for them, Gill demonstrates the rewards of a life governed by a sense of adventure, a strong moral compass, and a dog at your side. Ages 8 12.