Matthew Zajac lay in his bed in his room at the top of the stairs. He was surrounded by library books: Magnetic North, Into the Ice, Journey to the Farthest North, and Animals of the Arctic. He opened Animals of the Arctic at a double-page spread of the Arctic wolf. The white wolf was cut in half by the crease between the pages. Matthew smoothed his hands down over the animal’s golden eyes, its rough fur. The Arctic wolf lives in the boreal forests, Matthew read. As the frozen ground prevents the Arctic wolf from digging a den, it typically makes its home in a cave.
He glanced up through the window above his bed, at the starless sky outside. The moon was full, and he could see rows of triangular rooftops belonging to the many other houses just like his. In the night skies of the Arctic, you could see the northern lights – clouds of pink and green and purple light that had come all the way from the sun, spiralling like the patterns on a shell. Matthew rolled onto his side and opened Magnetic North. When he read about the Arctic, he entered another world.