Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1547
No lions or tigers, but definitely BEARS!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Tyson has some trouble concentrating, but only on certain things, like school. His best friend Brighton prefers to hang out with his new football playing friends, so that's difficult as well. Playing video games is easy, as is hanging around with his grandpa Gene. Tyson and his grandfather are preparing a hunting trip for Tyson's 13th birthday. They intend to go out into the wilderness with a guide, shoot an elk, and have Tyson field dress it. When Gene goes into a nursing home that is a couple of hours away because he has a kidney condition and needs dialysis, Tyson is afraid the hunting trip will never happen. When his parents, who are leery of letting an almost 80 year old man with a medical condition traipse around the woods with a teenager, find out that there have been bear attacks in the area where the hunt was planned, Gene and Tyson have to come up with a really clever plan to hunt without letting them know. They manage, but along the way there are family secrets that surface, and the trip is not without problems, but Tyson and Gene manage to accomplish what they had long planned.

Even thought I am not a huge fan of hunting, I really, really loved this book, so that says something about the quality of the writing! I am a sucker for a book with grandparents, but they can be hard to sell to students. This one won't be. Tyson was a believably drawn teenager-- I especially enjoyed his Taylor Swift obsession and his relationship with his younger sister. The parents' reactions are realistic, but Tyson and Gene's desire to take a first (and last) hunting trip makes sense, too. Even the hunting scenes are interesting and make sense. This was just the right length, too, and had fun details-- Tyson and his grandfather chugging prune juice was a great way to start the book.

Be aware that there is a rather graphic scene of field dressing the elk that isn't for the faint of heart.
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