Thirteen-year-old Tyson plans to accompany his grandfather on an annual elk hunt until “Gramps” moves into a nursing facility for his dialysis. Despite parental objections and the threat of a rampaging grizzly bear, Tyson and Gramps sneak away to hunt a six-point elk. Graphic descriptions of a kill and subsequent field-dressing are not for the squeamish. Tyson also deals with disappointing changes in his best friend, and an attractive new classmate offers him valuable advice on bears; but the tender relationship with his grandfather is the heart of the story. Told with self-deprecating humor, Tyson’s narration—equal parts funny and frightening—rings true in this remarkable first novel.
Linda Perkins, Independent