If there was a holy trinity of {{Anvilicious}} DeathByNewberyMedal children's ''literature,'' it would be ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia,'' ''Literature/WhereTheRedFernGrows,'' and... this book.

Little Willy and his dog Searchlight live in Wyoming, and Little Willy's grandfather, though otherwise perfectly healthy, has come down with a bad case of losing-his-will-to-live. The reason? He owes the state $500 in taxes, and they're threatening to take away his farm. So Little Willy and Searchlight, despite having absolutely no training, decide to sign up for a sled dog race with $500 dollars as the prize money. Their main competitor is Stone Fox, [[MagicalNativeAmerican a Native American man who never ever talks to white people and has never lost a race with his trusty Samoyeds.]] Little Willy and Searchlight place all their hopes of saving Grandpa's farm on the race!

[[DeusAngstMachina Searchlight dies of a heart attack just before Willy crosses the finish line.]] [[WhatTheHellHero Then Stone Fox pulls his gun on the rest of the racers and threatens to shoot them]] [[NoFairCheating if any of them cross the finish line before Little Willy finishes carrying Searchlight's body across.]]

As the description suggests, this short novel (written in 1980 by John Reynolds Gardiner) is very much one of ''[[DeathByNewberyMedal those]]'' books. It was, however, very popular. It's been read by millions of children (and assigned reading in many schools), and had a 1987 MadeForTVMovie adaptation. Produced by Creator/HannaBarbera, no less.

!!This book contains examples of:

* DeathByNewberyMedal
* PetTheDog: Stone Fox's concession of victory to Willy.
* InstantExpert: Searchlight, despite having no training, instantly takes the lead in the sled dog race. Also despite, you know, being only one dog. She's only pulling a kid, but still...
** Justified, as they are able to take a short cut across a frozen pond that the other, heavier teams can't.
* KidHero: Little Willy certainly wants to be one, at least for his grandfather.
* MagicalNativeAmerican: The Stone Fox of the title.
* RaisedByGrandparents: Or so it seems.
* TheRival: Stone Fox, again.
* SavingTheOrphanage: "Save The Farm" sub-variant.