From School Library Journal
Grade 6-10–After 12 summers with her older brother in their grandfather's remote Wyoming valley, Annie, 15, is returning alone for the first time. Numbed by grief over Cody's death, she is blind to the beauty of the mountains that once called her to climb and take pictures. Annie is also heedless of her grandfather's grief and his attempts to reach out to her. It is the disappearance of a small boy and the presence of Great-Grandmother Grizzly that help the teen overcome her loss and open her heart to others and to the world. The book, to some extent, focuses on mountain climbing–which is an interesting and fairly unexplored topic in young adult literature. Unfortunately, this originality does not extend to the rest of the book. The slow-to-develop plot is dragged down by cheesy description and uninspired dialogue. The characters are stereotypical. The appearance of the grizzly as Annie's totem has great potential, but without a deeper exploration of Native American religion, the bear is without context. Wilderness fans who have exhausted Gary Paulsen would be better off moving on to Will Hobbs.–Morgan Johnson-Doyle, Sierra High School, Colorado Springs, CO
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Gr. 6-9. Six months after her brother Cody dies in an Andean climbing accident, Annie returns to her grandfather's cabin in Wyoming's Tetons, where the memories of summers with Cody haunt her. Believing that her brother was the favored child, Annie harbors resentment and anger, and she blames her grandfather for teaching Cody to climb. Her grandfather's brusque ways and his own grief keep the two at odds, and her once beloved photography hobby no longer holds her interest. A close encounter with Great Grandmother (a grizzly bear) leaves Annie unharmed but signals the beginning of her return from grief. The bear appears to her in dreams and visions throughout the book, paralleling her journey toward understanding her brother's death. Her summer job babysitting Zachary, a young boy with hurts of his own, and the diversion provided by his attractive, troubled older brother also help with her healing. After Zachary disappears, a search team forms and Annie engages in a dangerous rescue mission that finds her climbing in her brother's footsteps. Teens will enjoy Annie's honest emotions and her wilderness adventures. Cindy DobrezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved