Over a period of eight days, 17-year-old Shelby’s life is forever changed.
Home-schooled in Scottsdale, Arizona, the two things Shelby’s sure of are that her father is dead and that the world is a dangerous place. Her friend, Mark, tells her that “[t]hings are…starting to happen” right before she’s struck by a car, fracturing her foot. As she passes out, a coyote seems to give her a cryptic message about lies and a hard truth. From then on, Shelby’s life quickly unravels. Her once-shy mother’s behavior becomes erratic as she drives Shelby to Flagstaff and tells her that her father, not dead after all, may be chasing them. When Shelby closes her eyes, she finds herself in the Dreaming, where Mark is the trickster Coyote and where her recurring dream of a crying child in need of rescue takes on urgency. Counting down the days toward a life-altering revelation, Shelby steps in and out of the Dreaming, its fairy-tale castles, crones and changelings blended with the sacred Eagle and Coyote of Navajo legend. Discerning readers might pick up carefully planted indications that Shelby is deaf early on. The suspenseful, complicated story slowly spins out clues to Shelby’s life that have been hidden from her for years.
A fine exploration of the power of story itself to heal the unconscious from scars physical and emotional. (Fiction. 13-17)