The Incredible Journey

Book review by
Katherine Olney, Common Sense Media
The Incredible Journey Book Poster Image
A clever story and evocative writing.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Loyalty, devotion, and the courage to undertake what seems impossible binds the three and ensures their survival.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Two dogs and a cat serve as examples of the power of love, devotion and faith.


Two fairly graphic wild-animal deaths. Animals attack the pets several times. Constant possibility of death by starvation, predation, or other wilderness hazards.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that a clever story and evocative writing will keep animal lovers and adventure fans turning the pages.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byJ.L.D October 30, 2009

Tweens is Good

I think this book, personally is ah_mazing. I just love it. It has changed my life
Adult Written bydjdaddy April 9, 2008

My almost 6-yr old loved it!

But we did skip over the parts with guns. The gun issue will inevitably come up, and in this case the guns were used for recreation (hunting), a use we approve... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 8, 2013

A Classic

I had to read this book for my homeschool curriculum. It has very good writing. Animal lovers will love it. It teaches a good message. There's some violenc... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 11, 2011

it is a ------- great book

it is a great book. i loved it. read it.

What's the story?

Two dogs and a cat trek through hundreds of miles of Canadian wilderness to rejoin their family after a caretaker misundertands her instructions and accidentally forsakes them, in this lovely, gentle, and understated tale.


Is it any good?

Kids love survival novels because they identify with the characters and feel powerful and independent right along with the protagonists; the treat here is that the characters are animals. And they act like real animals. These are not the usual talking animals in fetching outfits -- nothing in this book seem impossible for real-life cats and dogs.

The author, who knows animals intimately, conveys their wordless communication -- encouraging each other through eye contact and body language, mourning a companion who is assumed lost, or sharing the spoils of a hunt. There's plenty of action here, but like the animal's personalities, it's not over-the-top. Kids can easily imagine that they're crossing vast swaths of unpopulated land, and long stretches of quiet, forlorn beauty are punctuated by occasional terror, mishap, or joy. But readers who favor constant action over a story based on setting and mood may find the book slow going.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about loyalty. Do you think the story is realistic?

  • If you have pets, how do you feel toward them?

  • How do you think they feel toward you?

Book details

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