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CANYONS by Gary Paulsen

CANYONS

By Gary Paulsen

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2011
ISBN: 0-385-30153-7
Publisher: Delacorte

An Apache boy on the verge of manhood is brutally executed by Army patrols; over 100 years later a contemporary 15-year-old finds his shattered skull and--responding to a compelling inner voice emanating from the skull--begins a journey to vindicate and give rest to its troubled spirit, somehow knowing that he must carry out this task in order to regain his own peace. The phrase "I am to be a man," reiterated in the first chapter, induces some poetic and semantic resonance but is also an example of the uncurtailed writing that nearly dims this tale. Still, readers patient enough to survive the repetitive ruminations, the too-deliberate epicycles, and the unlikely details (especially a library that, as a friendly gesture, ships seven large boxes of photocopied data--and a boy who can find the crucial bit therein in one night) will be rewarded with an insightful, sympathetic vignette of the tragic end of a life, plus an intriguing glimpse of the contrast between what really happens and the clues that are left behind.