Dogsong by Gary Paulsen is the story of a fourteen-year-old Eskimo boy named Russell who feels disconnected from his ancestry. His father sends him to meet a village elder, Oogruk, who helps him understand through stories and songs how Eskimos used to live before the white men came to the far north of Alaska. In an attempt to reconnect with the "old ways," Russell decides to take a 1,400-mile dogsled trip through the Alaskan wilderness, challenging himself both physically and mentally.
The two main genres of prose are fiction, or stories that are not true, and nonfiction, or stories that are true. Dogsong is a fictional story that could also belong to the subgenre of adventure, discovery, and exploration narratives. Within fiction, there are further genres that relate to the length and format of the work. For example, novels, short stories, novellas, and picture books are all fictional genres. Dogsong is considered a novel.