One of the Best Books I Think I Have Ever Read Samantha Holloway (1/4/2012)
"I want to wander distant fields, climb higher mountains and explore mighty rivers." – Lucy Dakota
This quote (borrowed from the Lucy Dakota journal) describes the empowerment I felt after reading Lucy Dakota: Adventures of a Modern Explorer – Rocky Mountain Beginnings. Throughout this book Lucy transforms from a chubby Coloradan tween who hides from bullies in her middle school teachers classroom, to a strong, adventurous, and brave young leader after climbing a 14,000 peak in the Rocky Mountains. As you grow with Lucy from middle school to the summer after her high school graduation, you see her make many mistakes that a lot of young people make. Whether her mistakes be with boys, drugs, friends or work she learns from them and, to be honest, as a teenage girl who has made similar mistakes and can relate a lot to Lucy, I gained a lot from the times she stumbled and found as she grew from her mistakes, so did I.
You don’t have to be an outdoorsy person to enjoy Lucy’s adventures. She is very relatable and you find yourself being encouraged to pursue your own dreams while reading about her adventurous excursions. I encourage all the tweens, teens and young adults, especially the girls, to read this book– and I encourage all the parents out there to get this book for their kids to read. Rocky Mountain Beginnings is one of the best books I think I have ever read.
Lucy Dakota’s adventures will inspire you to know your own worth as a young person, leaving you empowered and encouraged to aspire to and achieve your own dreams. By the time you have finished this book you will find yourself on top of a mountain! Just make sure you keep a good look out to know when to get the next book in this series so you can Journey To Nepal with Lucy Dakota! Samantha is a 17-year-old from Tulsa, OK. She enjoys babysitting, sewing, drawing, crocheting, writing and anything creative. She loves to hang out with her mom and two sisters and hopes to someday work in the fashion industry.
Lucy Dakota: Rocky Mountain Beginnings is Highly Recommended Kirsten Bussière, Allbooks Reviews Int'l (12/29/2011)
“You will be physically exhausted. Your emotions will be strained at times; your mind will be taxed to its limit. As a result of surviving these challenges, you will become a better person. You will acquire leadership skills, self-esteem and confidence.” (Shride, pg.113)
Lucy Dakota begins her journey as an ordinary teenage girl attempting to find her way in the world and desperate for the acceptance of her peers. Pushing her way through the difficult situations that surround her within both middle school and onwards past her high school graduation, she is aided by an adventure scouting camp to shape herself. Through the exploration of the backcountry in Colorado she ends up exploring her own personality and begins to transform into the confident globe trotter she was meant to become.
C.S. Shride; the author of the Lucy Dakota: Adventures of a Modern Explorer series has drawn from the experiences she faced in her own adolescence and young adulthood, to create a character and story that is both realistic and empowering. Throughout the novel one cannot help but relating to Lucy, her emotions and attitudes towards her own life are those that many young people may have experienced or may be going through as they read the book. Shride has written a story that will not grow old, because the emotions and situations are eternal. Everybody will struggle with their sense of self and try to find out who they are at some point and the book depicts Lucy’s adventures perfectly and shows her journey of self discovery. Shride too found her lifelong love of high-altitude trekking and mountaineering through a club she found in high school. In her life, it led to a career of twenty years as the owner of a multi-million dollar adventure travel company, where she led thousands of tourists on treks through the wilderness of South America and the mountains in Nepal. Her experience creates a unique and realistic voice for Lucy throughout the novel and pulls together a story that draws you in like no other.
In conclusion, I believe that Rocky Mountain Beginnings is a wonderful book that tells a story any preteen or young adult would enjoy. Page after page it fills you and allows you to relate to the main character and empathize with the tale she tells. Filled with adventure, friendship, love and enthusiasm this is a great book to get and I truly believe that everybody should have the chance to enjoy this book.
Lucy Dakota is a Fine Pick Midwest Book Review (11/18/2011)
Exploration is more than knowing something's there, it's truly discovering it for yourself. Lucy Dakota: Rocky Mountain Beginnings is a modern adventure novel following the story of Lucy, an adventurous girl who embarks on a journey throughout the Rocky Mountains and sees a good dose of the rest of the natural world. Sure to be a treat for any young readers who have a fascination with the giant world we live in, Lucy Dakota is a fine pick and much recommended addition to any young adult fiction collection.
Blue Ink Reviews (8/4/2011)
Lucy Dakota: Adventures of a Modern Explorer
My Piece of the Puzzle, 291 pages, (hardback), $22.95, ages 12 and up, 978-0- 9833863-1-5 (Reviewed: July, 2011)
In this heartfelt but flawed first book in a young adult adventure series, Colorado teen Lucy Dakota pushes past her fears and grows more self-assured during a life-changing trek into backcountry.
From middle school on, Lucy has struggled to feel accepted and proud of how she handles things. She's lonely, at times overweight, and passive when her best friend bullies her and boyfriends pressure her to take drugs. This should rouse empathy, but author C.S. Shride doesn't delve far enough into Lucy's experience to win readers over. Told with little dialogue or use of secondary characters to offer outside perspective into Lucy’s character, those first chapters set up Lucy as a complainer rather than a heroine.
By the fourth chapter, though, Lucy signs up for a scouting club and her adventures begin to pull readers in. She takes a hairy ride down rapids, for example, and dodges a falling boulder during a climb. Then at age 17, Lucy enrolls in a 25-day wilderness course near Durango, and the story kicks into full gear. Shride, an adventure guide, details the course so well that readers will feel that they, too, can tie slings and wield ice axes. And she offers gripping scenarios: a cougar prowling around Lucy's tent; Lucy rappelling an 80-foot cliff.
Despite these moments, however, our hearts rarely pound. Too often readers must rely on what Lucy tells them, rather than observing her and the reactions of others. Although dialogue picks up during a crisis, it often loses its momentum, and characters fade in and out, never adequately developed. Moreover, Shride seldom describes the outdoors in an original or penetrating way.
Still, the last section is compelling; Lucy's challenges make us want to test what we're made of, too. This is a book that simmers with potential – a story we want to love even as we're kept at arm's length.