________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 34. . . .May 12, 2017

cover

Trackerís Canyon.

Pam Withers.
Toronto, ON: Dundurn, July, 2017.
180 pp., trade pbk., EPUB & PDF, $12.99 (pbk.), $8.99 (EPUB), $12.99 (PDF).
ISBN 978 1 4597 3963-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978 1 4597 3965-9 (EPUB), ISBN 978 1 4597 3964-2 (PDF).

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4

   

excerpt:

Holy crap. Mother and surviving fawn bolt. The cougar's teeth sink into the fawn's neck the neck I'd been imagining stroking. I choke off a cry.

"Hey!" The shout from behind makes me jump.

As the cougar drags his prey to the edge of the meadow, boots pound toward me. Before I can spin around, two firm hands lock on my shoulder and haul me back.

"Kid, what do you think you are playing at? That cougar could have just as easily jumped you!" A European accent.

I shake myself free, turn, square my shoulders, and eye this tall stranger in camouflage clothes. Who does he think he is, attempting to lecture a near guru of this terrain? He's no more than twenty five years old, I decode. He has short curly brown hair and a thin moustache on his not unfriendly face.

"I'm not a kid," I declare with my hands on my hips.

"No?" He half smiles. "What are you like, fifteen?"

The interloper is tall and as solid as a middle weight champ. My gut says the guy's ok. Still I judge it best to be polite but firm.

"Sixteen." I level my eyes at him. "And you just ruined everything. I've been tracking those deer for half an hour." I look toward the meadow; the cougar has disappeared with its catch. I turn back.

The man leans against a tree with a smirk. "Oh, so you think you are a tracker; do you? Not such a great one, if you did not notice the cougar or me, kid. Classic case of the hunter becoming the hunted."

"Well, I guess I must be pretty special to have two hunters following me."

 

Tracker's Canyon, by Pam Withers, tells the story of 16-year-old Tristan Gordon following the disappearance and presumed death of his father, Julian Gordon, at Swallow Canyon. Tristan has grown up tracking and canyoneering, learning the skills from his father. When his father disappears, Tristan is torn between helping his mother, who can not cope with her husband's disappearance, and trying to find proof of his father's death. When he meets a new guide in town, Brigit Dowling, Tristan goes canyoneering for the first time since his father's disappearance. He has caught the bug and makes plans to canyoneer Swallow Canyon with Brigit and her friend, Dominik Goralski. As their adventure begins, Tristan begins to wonder what Brigit's true motive is for this trip. In the nick of time, he realizes that he is the one being tracked.

     Withers has created a cast of characters whose lives are intertwined by a tragedy. Both Tristan and Brigit have different versions of what they believed happened. It is these perspectives that create the suspense and conflict in the story. Readers will be easily caught up in the canyoneering and fast-paced action. As Withers intended , readers will also be rooting for Tristan who has been cast as the unlikely hero. Tracker's Canyon is a story about truth, friendship, family and resilience. A good read.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is the Principal at Macdonald Drive Junior High in St. John's, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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