Silki knows who's behind the menacing characters invading the Navajo Rez, but no one's listening.
Stealing money isn't the aim of the Mesa Redondo bank robbers. They want the mysterious metal object Silki and her best friend Birdie discovered in the bogs of Canyon Daacha. With Birdie headed up to Kayenta for the rest of the summer, Silki navigates wide-eyed and solo through a whirl of thievery, scary characters, lost artifacts, and a shadowy stranger Silki dubs Amber Eyes. Against a backdrop of Monsoon Season floods and quicksand, Silki's plight is complicated by the hateful slurs of a rebellious cousin her family must rescue before it's too late. Soon, Silki finds herself in the middle of a plot that stretches all the way back to World War II and reaches right into the very soul of her own family.
Woven with Navajo language, tradition, and lore, CANYON OF DOOM is the second book in a series of one girl's adventures in the American Southwest.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An Island of Innocence in a Sea of Insanity Jodi Lea Stewart’s second novel, Canyon of Doom, is an island of innocence in a sea of insanity. Ms Stewart has written a well-paced and detailed mystery with two adorable, likable teen-age heroes—Silki and Talastic. Instructive as well as entertaining, this novel will give readers wonderful lessons about life on a Navajo Reservation, tales about the always mystical buried treasure that drives men mad, and insights into horse-lore. Full of family secrets, cooking techniques, bad boys on a quest for Nazi gold, and details about Southwest weather, this novel is fun to read. I admire this about Ms. Stewart’s writing: Attention to detail: “She cut the stem off the last jalapeño, cut the pepper in half, and scraped out the ribs and part of the seeds. She flipped the halves over, made slender slices, rotated them and chopped small pepper pieces so fast I felt dizzy.” The Southwest as a character: “Ravens drifted above us in wind currents. The wind carried a hint of piñon and cedar…” “The ribbon of water in the bottom of the canyon rippled over sharp rocks that made with Vs on the surface…The water would shrink a few days later and leave a collar of soft sand along its edges.” Smells and sights of the culture: “Scents of roasted corn, smoked meats, and fried breads glazed the air, making my stomach sound like two angry cats growling.” That simile, “two angry cats growling,” is an example of Ms. Stewart’s easy way with the language: “quiet as a fence” “My brain swirled like a Dairy Queen soft serve…” “Up on the rim, I squiggled out of sight as fast as a lizard with hot feet.” “The three of us bounced around in Father’s truck like a bunch of loose cucumbers.” “She chewed gum like it was her job.” And there is a lot of action, some very sneaky and suspicious characters balanced by revelations about family relationships and love and life. This is a fine, well written novel aimed at a young audience. In addition to telling a good tale, Ms. Stewart reminds us that readers don’t start with Moby Dick. They grow into the world of fiction one step at a time—start with Good Night, Moon, move to Dr. Seuss, graduate to Nancy Drew, and then discover Silki and her Canyon of Doom long before diving into War and Peace or To Kill a Mockingbird. College professors were once two year olds. End of lesson. A fine book.