Devil's Pass (Seven Series)by Sigmund Brouwer
Webb, a young street musician, faces grizzly bears and a madman on the Canol Trail when he tries to fulfill a request in his late grandfather's will.
Once Upon a Bookshelf blog"This very well may be one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. From the moment I picked it up, I knew I had my hands on something GOOD. A fast-paced book, Devil’s Pass gripped me from page 1 and didn’t let me go under after I read the last sentence in the book. I love the concept of this series—seven authors wrote seven books about seven grandchildren who are all affected by the death of their grandfather and the tasks he’s outlined for them in his will. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of these books, but I love that I don’t have to read them in any particular order, or that I don’t even have to read all of them if I don’t want to. This is a brilliant concept, and in the instance of Devil’s Pass was executed perfectly. It left me craving more."
Booklist"[Webb's] beloved grandfather has died, and his will sends Webb north to hike the Canol Trail and solve a 50-year-old mystery. Add grizzly bears and a psychotic local who has taken a disliking to Webb, and you have a strong, fast-paced survival story with a kick. Flesh it out with acoustic guitar riffs, World War II air shows, and an imperfect hero with a conscience, and the result is a thoughtful exploration of issues like love, trust, responsibility, guilt, and identity. This explores secrets on many levels and delivers handsomely with a resolution that satisfies but doesn’t simplify. Happily, there are six other titles in the series."
Resource Links"Webb's journey will certainly inspire readers to seek out the other novels in the series, in the hope that they are as satisfying in terms of both intrigue and emotional veracity."
CM Magazine"A fast-paced adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats cheering on Webb while guessing what will happen next. Sigmund Brouwer has done a superb job maintaining suspense throughout Devil's Pass while assuring readers nothing will happen that Webb can't handle...Highly Recommended."
San Francisco Book Review Teen reviewer"I enjoyed how Webb was able to focus his rage and hate to further his own ends, like learning martial arts and avoiding pursuers. The book was very redemptive, because Webb was able to accept his life, change things for the better, and also help his grandfather's friend to have peace of mind and comfort. It's a great addition to the series."
NJ Youth Services"[The] adventures are exciting and readers will be anxious to pick up the next book in the series. Great for middle grade boys who want realistic fiction with action and suspense."
Children's Literature - Veronica BartlesSeventeen-year-old Webb left home when his abusive step-father made life impossible there. He's survived on the streets of Toronto, Canada, by washing dishes part-time and playing his guitar on the streets. But when his grandfather dies and his will stipulates that his seven grandsons each fulfill the specific, secret tasks he's set for them, Webb finds himself hiking the Canol Trail in Canada's Far North, in search of something he doesn't yet understand. On the cold, harsh trail, Webb discovers that freezing temperatures and grizzlies aren't the most deadly forces he'll face on his journey, and that long-buried secrets can be toxic. But as he explores the far-reaching effects of the secret his grandfather sent him to uncover, Webb might just find the strength he needs to face his own demons. Against a backdrop of spine-tingling adventure and the hint of a mystery, Brouwer paints a picture of strength and courage specifically targeted toward boys, while exploring the important, though difficult themes of abuse and bullying. An important statement about the dangers of remaining silent and the courage required to speak up, this book is sure to open the lines of communication in readers. Reviewer: Veronica Bartles
Kirkus ReviewsSeventeen-year-old Jim Webb must travel the Canol Trail in Canada's Northwest Territories to fulfill a specific request made in the unusual will of David McLean, his beloved grandfather. Webb may be the only hiker ever to travel Canada's Far North with a Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar strapped across his back, but it means the world to him, his father's last gift to him before dying of cancer. Webb's stepfather has tormented him and made life at home untenable, but evil is also afoot in Yellowknife in the form of psychopathic Brent Melrose. After facing Brent, walking 110 kilometers through a "bear-filled, wolf-infested, roadless wilderness" won't seem so bad. But it is bad, and Webb begins to see the wisdom in his grandfather's favorite Nietzsche quotation: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Brouwer weaves twin narratives to good effect, a present-tense story of Webb's attempt to solve his grandfather's mystery at Mile 112, and flashbacks that inform readers as to why Webb is on the journey in the first place. Part of a seven-novel series with simultaneous release dates, this volume is especially targeted at boys looking for action and suspense. A likable guitar-playing protagonist is a bonus. Unlike Webb, readers can face grizzly bears, wolves and psychopaths in the cozy confines of a good book. (Adventure. 10-14)
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