Spike of Swift River by Jack O'Brien and Kurt Wiese. 1942 first edition.


Written by Jack O'Brien. Illustrated by Kurt Wiese. First edition, 1942. The John C. Winston Company. Chicago. Philadelphia. Toronto.

Front Flap

"Spike was an outlaw dog. Beaten and mistreated by man, he took to the woods, living by his wits alone, stalking his food where he could find it and driven by fierce hunger to eat it almost before the life had gone out of it. ...

"Then Dan Kirk came to the logging town of Swift River. He, too, was an outlaw fleeing from the injustice of other men. Dan's father had been crushed to the wall financially by the crafty boss of Great Western Lumber Company, J. P. Schwartz. Hatred burned fiercely in Dan's heart for this man who had killed his father...

"Dan and Spike were thrown together by pure chance. The bond of friendship that grew between the two outlaws strengthened daily. ...

"No greater test of this bond could be found than the day Dan lost his sight. Dan had fought to break a log jam planned to destroy Northern Lumber, and a crack on the head when he fell in the stream blinded him - for life, he thought."

Jack O'Brien (1897 - 1938), a native of Minnesotta, worked in a variety of jobs before being hired in 1928 as a surveyor for the Byrd Antarctic Expedition. O'Brien lived and worked for two years in Little America, the encampment of workers who supported Admiral Richard Byrd's first-ever flight over the South Pole. On returning home, he used his experiences with sled dogs to lead prospecting expeditions to Northern Canada. He followed his first book, By Dog Sled for Byrd: 1600 Miles Across Antarctic Ice, with Silver Chief: Dog of the North, Valient: Dog of the Timberline, Corporal Corey of the Canadian Mounted, Silver Chief to the Rescue, Rip Darcy: Adventurer, Return of Silver Chief, and Spike of Swift River.

Kurt Wiese (1887 - 1974) was a German-born illustrator of more than 300 books and author of 20 children's books. His experiences in China, Australia, and Brazil enriched his illustrations, bringing a unique perspective to his works, such as the beloved "Bambi: A Life in the Woods" and the "Freddy the Pig" series. Wiese earned multiple awards, including Newbery and Caldecott Honors.

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Condition: Near Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Mild shelf wear; shallow scratch on the front; moderate wear along upper and lower edges and front fore edge; bumped at corners; chipping at head and tail of the spine. Illustrated cover boards. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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