When Colly's father, a stuntman working in the movies in the 1930s, is injured, they retreat to an adobe shack in the desert so he can recuperate. It is there that Colly meets Sparrow, an Indian boy of centuries past, who is trapped in a Forever Day--and who needs Colly's help to be free.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Grade 4-7. Early talking moving picture Westerns bore little resemblance to the true history of the old West. Stereotypical "Indians" rampaged on technicolor lit backlots. Imagine, then, two boys, one a Cahuilla Indian sentenced to repeat forever a day from 1774 on which he and his grandmother were murdered; the other, a boy discovering the "real" West, out on location in a California desert in 1932 with his stunt-actor father, who enters Sparrow's world. If Colly can find Sparrow and his grandmother's accidental burial spot and set up a traditional nukil (burial ceremony) before the bulldozers arrive, their spirits will be set to rest. The story flips back and forth between Colly and Sparrow; different typeface as well as a differing tone make it easy for readers to keep up with the boys' stories. Sparrow's story is more gripping than Colly's?perhaps because Sparrow is grappling with eternity, while Colly is coming to terms with his mother's death. Fringe characters, including a caricature of a foreign-sounding movie director and a kind actress with the proverbial heart of gold and a tired subplot featuring a grave-robbing thief are a bit distracting. The foils for Colly and his dad are Benjamin, an abysmally stiff university professor (and cello playing Native American) who mouths ironic epigrams, and Ozro, his nephew. Some readers may enjoy this show; most can pass.?Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Holman (Secret City, U.S.A., 1990, etc.) weaves a terrific story about the nature of reality, honoring the past, and the experience of loss, set in the California of 1932. Colly's mother died in a car accident the year before; his father is a movie stuntman, and everything Colly knows he learned from the movies and from being on the set. When his dad is injured in a stunt, they go to stay in an adobe house in the desert to heal, where Colly meets Benjamin Grey Fox, a retired professor, and his nephew, Ozro, who aren't at all like ``Hollywood Indians.'' Set in italics and alternating with Colly's story is one of a Cahuilla boy, Sparrow, and his grandmother, who see white settlers approaching in 1774. Colly's movie view of the past and Sparrow's history intersect in dreams, in talismans, in animal spirits. How Colly lays both his sorrow and Sparrow's to rest is told in language that dips and soars like the flight of an eagle, carrying readers along with their need to know what happens. While Holman occasionally preaches about the legitimate rights of the First Nations, the bits of movie lore, gorgeous desert descriptions, and deeply moving final scenes amply compensate. (Fiction. 9-14) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Atheneum, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0689807724