October 08, 2011

Canyons by Gary Paulsen

Paulsen is normally a good writer. I'm not sure what was going on in this book. While I enjoy many of his tales, this one just didn't do it for me and the writing was kind of haphazard.

The story tells the tale of two different boys. One is Coyote Runs who has been invited to his first raid and takes place a little bit in the past while the Apache nation roamed the area. It is during this raid that he faces danger and so affects Brennan, the boy in the future's life. Brennan is a mostly self sufficient boy who is on a camping trip when he finds a skull. Not knowing why, he takes the skull home and strange things start to happen. He is determined to find out how to make himself stop feeling so crazy and believes the skull is behind it.

The characters in this book weren't really developed all that well. Their motivations aren't really explained and they seem to change their minds for no reason at all. Poor Coyote Runs is barely in the book at all before it is all turned to Brennan, and really, he isn't that interesting of a character.

The writing may appeal to younger boys but I wasn't taken with it. It was too rushed and things weren't explained enough. I liked the concept of the book but thought the execution could be better. It probably won't turn me off of Paulsen altogether; indeed he has some very good books out there, this just probably wouldn't be one that I'd recommend.

Copyright 1990
184 pages

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