Devil's Pass: the title alone sounds intriguing, right? Incites mental images of mystery, being hunted (or being the hunter, adventure in the great outdoors, right? Or does it make you think Gary Paulson-ish work, given the cover shot? Welllllllll, you are kinda on the right track, but there is more here, much, much more.
Brouwer, a well-established Canadian author, launches us into the book through the main character, a grisly teen who refuses to connect with people around him. "Webb" or "Webby" as his grandfather lovingly called him, is on a journey dictated by the man most important to him: his grandfather. After his grandfather dies, a mysterious meeting with all 7 male cousins ensues, and there Webb learns his mission. Brouwer keeps his readers in suspense the rest of the read, aptly teasing his reader with clues while also upping the ante of outcome. I love the cover of this edition of the book, I love the visual imagery my mind created while I read--both about who he was with and the amazing treks he took from Arizona to Canada, and I treasured the resilience of Webb. The underlying message his grandfather sent him was not lost on me at all, and I found myself, an adult female reader, wanting to journey more with this older teen male. I imagine this young man would have been a tricky blast to work with in the classroom. Devil's Pass was indeed a gold-star read for me: engaging, realistic, and visual.
Possibly more interesting, this book is actually part of a series of seven, all written by different authors. According to www.seventheseries.com website, "the stories take place at the same time during summer vacation." The seven boys all share the same grandfather and his will lays out the seven different tasks, one for each boy. Evidently the books stand alone individually but I think I will search the others out and see where they take me. Intriguing indeed....I am guessing there is a good story out there about how this series was dreamed up. Never fear: I am on the hunt for us! (Unless one of you know the inside scoop.)