Dogsong is a 1985 young adult novel by Gary Paulsen and is a Newbery Honor Book. It is about a 14-year-old Eskimo, Russel Susskit and his dogs, who is searching for answers about his life that he cannot find. His father could not tell him the answers-but a blind old man named Oogruk, sets him in the right direction. Disillusioned with modern life-such as "snow machines" and cooking meat-and his people losing tradition, Russel sets out on a quest in order to find himself, and the "old ways" of his people.
Inspired by the Eskimo shaman Oogruk, Russel Susskit takes a dog team and sled to escape the modern ways of his village and to find his own "song" of himself. He travels across ice floes, tundra, and mountains, haunted along the way by a dream of a long-ago self whose adventures parallel his own. Reality melds with the dream when he finds an Eskimo girl who has run away from her village after becoming pregnant. Circumstances require him to provide for himself and the girl in a harsh and unforgiving land.
It is a rigorous journey for the boy and his team of dogs, but in a combination of wills, their spirits soar as one to survive in this unforgettable travel toward self-discovery.