An adventure trip in British Columbia’s Cariboo Mountains may be the best chance for a father and son to reconnect.
After being expelled from school for carrying a pocket knife, eighth-grader Aaron strikes a deal with his parents. Rather than attending a camp in Montana for juvenile delinquents, Aaron agrees to a kayak trip with his father. The only problem is he and his dad can barely stand to be in the same room together. How are they going to survive two weeks alone in the wilderness? From the start, the trip becomes a contest of wills, each loath to allow the other to take the lead. The sound of their kayak paddles clacking together is a constant reminder of just how out of sync they have become. But when a life-threatening accident incapacitates his father, Aaron is forced to find the very qualities that his father was demanding all along. The richly realized setting makes the familiar story of a headstrong white teen squaring off against his father fresh. Aaron moves from arrogance to humility and a calm assurance. But his father also grows, realizing Aaron is yearning for the same respect and freedom that he craved from his own father. Pencil illustrations accompany the text.
Nail-biting journey with a heart. (Adventure. 8-11)