Review of One Arctic Night

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Review of One Arctic Night

Post by SarahSchmidt »

[Following is an official review of "One Arctic Night" by D.F. Whibley.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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One Arctic Night, written by D. F. Whibley, is a short young adult fiction book. It follows a young Inuit boy, Panuk, whose encounter with two Southerners teaches the trio the value of forgiveness and fairmindedness.

Panuk’s current worry is how to tack on some inches on his one-point-six-meter frame. He also longs to be a writer, applying to a school in Thunder Bay along with his friend Toklo. One morning, he wakes up to find his father groaning in discomfort, who, his mother informs him, will have to visit the hospital in Iqaluit to have his kidney stones removed. That leaves Panuk to temporarily take over his father’s job, acting as a guide for the visitors to the Arctic who wish to hunt caribou for their antlers. He ensures everything is ready, but when the tourists, Bobby ‘Bubba’ Wall and Daniel ‘D.T.’ Talone, arrive, they are rude and unfriendly, much to the quiet boy’s dismay. There is an unwritten law of the North, which states that never must anyone be turned away from shelter. The two men are vehemently opposed to this ideology until they find themselves at the mercy of a major storm. Set in the Arctic village Pangnirtung, this book drives home significant lessons.

This book is slotted under the young adult fiction genre, but I believe it can double as children’s fiction also. There are some simple digital illustrations that would be appealing to this audience, and the method of storytelling is reminiscent of a children’s tale. Panuk is at the middle-adolescent stage of development, but his narration is simple and easy to follow.

The primary themes of the story are those of forgiveness and kindness. Underscoring that is the fact that ignorance and stubbornness breed biases and racism, as well as how they can affect people subjected to these prejudices. I liked that I learned a little about the Inuit way of life, especially how they build their igloos, not with dry or wet snow but with wind-packed snow, and the unwritten law of the Arctic. We got a peek at their lifestyle through Panuk’s narration: how different their mannerisms are compared to those who live in large cities, their eating raw seal liver for its vitamins, how they hold sacred the practice of not wasting food sources, and even the passing around of the legend of the Qalupalik.

I rolled my eyes and cringed frequently at Bubba and D.T.’s insensitivity. Their unlikability was sold by their inhumane treatment of the native inhabitants of the place they’re visiting, their blatant disregard for the village’s ban on alcohol, their flat and tactless refusal of food offered in kindness, and their continued and offensive labelling of the people as ‘Eskimos’. One can almost blame this on their ignorance, but it’s no excuse for how absolutely boorish and ill-mannered they were. I disliked these two characters—at least until they underwent their turnaround and did some introspection.

The virtual lack of errors caused me to believe that this book has been professionally edited. Panuk mentions that he is told stories from the Bible by his father, but these are mostly focussed on the moral aspect and not delved into too deeply, so it shouldn’t affect anyone’s enjoyment of the story.

I rate this book a whopping four out of four stars. It’s fully deserving of this score, having only two errors and delivering a great storyline in its brevity. I recommend this book to those who like reading about Aboriginal cultures or parents wanting to teach their children lifelong lessons. Readers who like young adult fiction with more mature themes or those looking for adventurous plots would perhaps not find this book as enjoyable.

One Arctic Night
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Post by Aisha Yakub »

The themes would also be beneficial for children, teaching them to be kind and forgiving. Thanks for the review
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Post by Umesh Bhatt »

This review is encouraging me to read this book. The lure of Arctic life is definitely an attraction. I would reserve it for future reading.
Knowledge is power but one has to be a bookworm! :techie-studyingbrown:
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Post by Peter Virdee »

I didn't heard about this book , i will read this book and share my views..
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Post by NwakorVian »

This review has shown how didactic this book which piqued my interest towards it.
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Post by Kofi Dadzie »

Hi everyone,
The author of this book D.F. Whibley, I have a little concern. My concern is how can a child that is Panuk takes over his father's job when he is in that tender age. I think that based on his father sickness someone else should have been sought for to take over the job instead of Panuk who is just child.

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Post by ranjitkaur »

It seems it's a story of two different worlds as well ideologies. It's a must read.
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Post by Edgardo Buelva »

I have once read a book about the Inuit's hunt for whales and I love that book so much which makes me want to be reading One Arctic Night as well.
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Post by khwaja Faheem »

It seems it is a story of two different worlds, i think it is as well ideologies. i am happy to read it.
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Post by José Cortez »

Forgiveness is a huge part of our humanity. I'm glad Panuk learned this.
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Post by Adelle v »

Its always a pleasure to get to know another cultures way of life. I would love to read this book although its aimed at young adults. Thank you for a great review.
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Post by Sarah Sonbol »

This book sounds really interesting for me as an adult. I think children and young adults will be interested too. Life in the Arctic is an interesting subject. I also liked that it teaches good lessons and subjects youths to different cultures. Great review.
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Post by Abdullah daliath »

This book seems Intriguing. I’ve never read a book based on life in the artic. So this book definitely peaked my interest.
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Post by T_bag »

What a great intriguing book cause the son started working at a very tender age
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Post by serenelmarkson1 »

This book is amazing from your review point of view. What an awesome review.
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