Across the Steel River
A local Indian and World War II hero has been beaten and left for dead near the railway tracks. While the police conclude that a train caused Yellowfly's injuries, Will and Arthur know better. To find answers, they'll have to pursue the case on their own. In their search for justice, the boys discover that true brotherhood sometimes calls for sacrifice. And that courage, like cowardice, can take many forms.
Though Arthur figures less in this story than in the other two novels (A Dirty Deed and Murder on the Ridge), his cynicism comes through in his dialogue and in Will's candid narration, and will make readers snicker frequently. The scenes set at Heavy Shield School, which "is supposed to turn Indians into white men", present the thorny issue of the brutal treatment of Native children in residential schools through the eyes of a white boy who doesn't really know how different things are for Indian kids, but who sure as heck knows when the white supervisors step over the line. Stenhouse is a master at making a point in this understated way, and kids will appreciate the fact that he doesn't patronize them. Will is a wonderful narrator and hero to whom readers will relate as he struggles to reconcile his feelings with what he's been taught so that he and Arthur don't "grow out of [their] friendship--like every other Indian kid and white kid...for the past hundred years." Readers of all ages will love this skilfully constructed tale about finding the courage to do the right thing.
I fond the book a "you don't want to put down" it was a mystery. i remember being in bed after three in the mourning and not wanting to put it down. it was interesting and you never new what was going to happen next. it is one of the best books i have ever read!!!!!!!!