CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 24. . . .February 23, 2018
Mountain. (Inanna Young Feminist Series).
Toronto, ON: Inanna Publications (Distributed by Brunswick Books), 2017.
99 pp., trade pbk., epub, Kindle & pdf, $19.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-77133-349-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77133-350-4 (epub), ISBN 978-1-77133-351-1 (Kindle), ISBN 978-1-77133-352-8 (pdf).
Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.
Review by Heidi Henkenhaf.
DAY TEN. No Laureen. I surreptitiously used a little of the big boxes of biodegradable laundry detergent someone left beside the aptly named Laundry Rocks. For all I know some Tribe person left them there, to deter newbies from washing their underwear with Tide back at the spring. Even I know better than that.
I guess Mom taught me more than she thought she did. If she doesn't come back tomorrow, I’ll email Lark and ask him what to do. I'll probably get an automated reply, "Out of Office".
Ursula Pflug's YA novel Mountain is a quick and enjoyable read that offers a wonderful distraction from screen time, unless you are reading the ebook format.
Many young adult readers will be able to relate to Camden's dual life as she shares her time between the very different worlds of her father and her mother; but, perhaps few will experience the extreme differences in values and lifestyle between the two households. Camden's father is a musician and provides her with an above average lifestyle with resources for hanging out with friends and shopping at the mall. Her mother is much more cash-strapped and has a no frills lifestyle. Both parents are committed to their careers and perhaps naïve to how this focus has left their daughter vulnerable in both these circumstances.
The reader is given the sense that Camden's current adventure is simply another in a life long pattern. When Camden is in her mother's custody, she ends up being abandoned at a healing camp on a mountain in the middle of nowhere North California. Although she is surrounded by many, she must dig deep both physically and emotionally to look after herself while waiting for her mother's return. As time passes and Camden's circumstances deteriorate, all attempts to contact her father in Toronto for backup fail. The absence of both parents creates the adventure of Camden's story on the mountain.
I highly recommend this book because many young adults can relate to the dual life of sharing their time between co parenting households and the challenges this can create. This story takes the reader on a journey they will hopefully never have to live but makes them think. Mountain would be a good addition to public and school libraries as a powerful adventure and a coming of age story with a strong female protagonist.
Heidi Henkenhaf is a librarian at the Vancouver Public Library.
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University of Manitoba
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