THE WAY by Joseph Bruchac

THE WAY

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Daydreaming Cody LeBeau from the Abenaki tribe naively imagines he needs ninja moves to be a hero, confident and popular. This disconnect is momentary, as bullies in his new junior high school push him around all day. Initially, he’s an unconvincing character whose old-fashioned vocabulary and adult point of view don’t fit a teen in the 21st century; many of his thoughts sound like a mother’s. The first four chapters meander through Cody’s nightmarish new school experience, until Uncle John appears and exemplifies a hero’s path. Uncle, in town to fight in a prestigious competition, teaches Cody “The Way,” a Native-American tradition of integrity and strength that empowers the mind and body. The slow start gets some impetus and then moves into high gear when Cody’s new spiritual insight helps him to maintain his internal and physical balance and compels him humbly, yet with all his heart and strength, to diffuse a mass killing. This feat is what he imagines in the beginning, minus the foot-kicking and fist-punching. This subject needs a modern edge that is lacking in text that uses the “fresh as the proverbial daisy” metaphor and other clichéd phrasing. Not one of Bruchac’s better efforts. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58196-062-4
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Darby Creek
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007




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