Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Karen Bass
Publisher: Pajama Press
When Jared and Kyle's plane crashes in the middle of nowhere, Jared decides to climb up a hill to find cell phone reception and call for help. But Kyle's grandmother, a Cree Native American, had warned Kyle of the dangers of the Hill. Despite Kyle's fear and warnings, Jared crests the Hill only to discover that there's no reception. As night falls, it becomes too dark to head back to the plane, forcing Jared and Kyle spend the night on the Hill. In the morning they discover that everything has changed and that they are now being hunted by a Wihtiko, a legendary giant man-eating monster. Running for their lives, the two put aside their difference and work together to barely escape the hunger of the Whitiko, becoming close friends in the end.
Bass tells a riveting story of survival and friendship, staying true to the real Cree legend that has been passed down for generations. The story builds a moral message of not judging others or jumping to conclusions about them as Kyle and Jared work together and learn more about the other. The protagonists were able to form a true friendship that genuinely benefited the other as they passed trough their experiences together. Bass does a wonderful job of setting the scene for the novel and describing the landscape, particularly the forest. The author also adds an educational value to the book by demonstrating basic survival skills such as having water, knowing the landscape, and avoiding harmful plants while utilizing helpful ones. Overall, a wonderful story for anyone looking for a thrill and to learn something new.
*Contains mild language and moderate violence.