28 February 2012

Book Review: Canyons

Title: Canyons
Author: Gary Paulsen
Publisher/Year: Bantam / 1990
Source/Format: Shelves / Print
Date Finished: 27 February 2012
Book # 9

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

The Short and Sweet of It
Coyote Runs takes his place as a man among the Apache as he goes on his first raid. Over one hundred years later, Brennan Cole goes on a camping trip where he finds a skull which begins a journey connecting him to the past.

A Bit of a Ramble
I first read this book way back in the early 90s, and I fell in love. I may not have remembered the story, but I still remember the feeling I had after reading, that hard to explain sinking feeling. Not "sinking" like bad, but sinking like good. A depression that the story is over, a bittersweet acceptance of the ending and an appreciation of the journey the story took you on. Few books truly give me this feeling, few books truly touch the soul. Canyons did that for me when I was a young girl, and I devoured many of Paulsen's other works because of this. And I must say that many did truly speak to me.

Obviously, I am a much different person at 31 than I was at 11, and that difference is certainly felt upon re-reading a book which was so moving. While I enjoyed the story, I didn't love it the way I did back then. I do still appreciate the same things about the story though: the feeling of a connection to the past, a connection to a place, the strength of a young boy's resolve, the beauty of an adult's acceptance. This is a simple story which feels epic. All of these things - which are way more clear if you've read the book - are reason enough to read the book, and I highly urge you to pick up a Paulsen if you get the chance.

Like The Giver, I read Canyons while feeding Madison Paige during the night. I think I'm going to pick up another Paulsen tonight for my next book...probably Hatchet as that one also touched my soul back in my pre-teen years.

This book counts for Goal #1: Read Books I Own


  1. I loved Hatchet (read it just last year for the first time) and I really want to get to his others one of these days. Maybe I'll try this one next

  2. I have a great Paulsen collection that I gave to my daughter, and now I know that I need to get it back and check it out for myself. I have heard a lot about Hatchet, but not a lot about this one, but that's ok, because it is in my book! Great review today. I am glad that you were able to rediscover this book!

  3. Paulsen's popularity came a bot after my childhood, so I missed the boat. Might have to give him a try.

  4. I tend to stay away from books I loved when I was a kid in case the magic isn't quite there like it used to be. I like to keep the memory of a book intact.


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