Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bearstone and Far North by Will Hobbs

In Bearstone, Cloyd is a troubled teenager.  He has been sent by his tribe to a group home. Cloyd is then sent to live with Walter, an old man who lives on the mountain by himself.  Cloyd likes Walter, but when a group of hunters visits Walter, Cloyd decides that the hunters are Walter's real friends and that all of the men are laughing at him.

Cloyd strikes out to hurt Walter in the worst way possible, and when it is too late, Cloyd learns that Walter is his real friend.

This is not the kind of book that I typically enjoy.  I have trouble relating to a protagonist who is so full of anger and takes revenge upon someone who does not deserve it by doing the most appalling act possible.  Aside from that, the story is good and teaches a lesson.

In Far North, Gabe starts boarding school in the Northwest Territories of Canada.  His roommate is Raymond, an Indian from Nahanni Butte. Gabe gets an opportunity to ride on a bush plane one weekend, and to his shock, Raymond will be flying on the plane to return home.  He is dropping out of school.  Also taking the flight is Johnny, Raymond's great-uncle.

The pilot, Clint, takes the boys to an unscheduled stop on the Nahanni River to see the waterfall.  The plane's radio quits working, but Clint is unconcerned, even though no one knows where the plane is.  Upon landing on the river, the engine fails, stranding the passengers. Thus begins a terrifying struggle for survival that lasts for most of the harsh, northern Canadian winter.

This is an outstanding book.  The author does not get bogged down on extreme detail, and the story flows well in a very interesting fashion.  The story is quite moving, and as I read the final chapter, tears came to my eyes.  That doesn't happen often.

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