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Across the Steel River (Ted Stenhouse) Paperback – August 1, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-In 1952, Grayson is a Canadian town divided by railroad tracks and racism. When sixth-grader Will Samson and his best friend, Arthur, a Blackfoot Indian, find the beaten and barely alive body of Yellowfly near the railroad tracks, they know that the war hero could not have been hit by a train as Sergeant Findley claims. They know that Yellowfly was beaten by townspeople, and that Findley is not going to do anything to find them. So, torn by the prejudices of his own people and loyalty to Arthur, Will sets out to solve the mystery himself. After seeing the humiliation that Arthur and the other children endure at the Reservation school and the scorn given to Indians and anyone who associates with them, Will begins to look inside himself, at his own racist attitude. The novel is a sensitive portrayal of how one boy's brave and selfless actions can help to change a community. Deft characterization adds depth to the story, but the plot moves methodically and may lose readers midstream.

Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library, KY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-8. Friendship and tolerance are the twin themes of this story that displays the casual prejudice and injustice toward Native Americans permeating the small Canadian town of Grayson in 1952. Will Samson and his Indian friend, Arthur, discover the nearly lifeless body of Yellowfly, a resident of the nearby reservation: he has been beaten, though the local Mountie opines that he was probably hit by a train. Will and Arthur set out to learn who is responsible for Yellowfly's assault, and when Will learns who is involved, he must risk his own safety to see that justice is done. As the action progresses, Will and Arthur tangle with their attitudes toward each other, with Will realizing how his own unthinking responses to Arthur generate friction in an otherwise genuine friendship. A thoughtful, discerning picture of the difficulties of standing up for what is right. Denise Wilms
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Ted Stenhouse
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553370155
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553370154
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,974,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on March 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Yellowfly's Mystery
Will and Arthur are walking down the railroad tracks when they see a body. They think it's a dog at first, but then they see it's a body. When they get closer they see it's Yellowfly, the Indian war hero. He is all beaten up and injured badly. They call the authorities and they take him to the Hospital. It's in the 1950's and in Grayson, Canada. Arthur is Indian and Will is white. Will try's to find out who beat up Yellowfly. It's a very painful mystery, but he thinks he can solve it.
This is a really good book. It was very exciting mystery about how a boy named Will is trying to solve a very hard mystery. He finds gopher tails and he dumps manure on his two suspects. He fights all three of who he thinks beat up Yellowfly. This book should be in all school libraries and in all of the public libraries, because it is good and is entertaining. This book would make you feel good after you finished it.
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Format: Hardcover
"Across the Steel River" is an accurate portrayal of life in a small prairie town. Although the story is fiction, the descriptions of the landscape, the town and the people, are very convincing. It was easy to picture it all in my mind. The story, set in the 1950's, is about two boys, unaffected by the rampant racism surrounding them, who embark on an adventure together as best friends. The book has a nice flow to it, is easy to read and has some wonderfully poignant moments. I found that once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down and yes, I actually got tears in my eyes at one particularly touching passage. It is a thoughtful, insightful tale that had me questioning my own morals and prejudices. Don't be fooled by my sentimental review though - it is still high adventure that leads you down unexpected paths to a thrilling conclusion. This is not just a book for young adults - it can be enjoyed by any age.
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A Kid's Review on June 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this book showed how life can be for both a native and a white boy in the praries. I really enjoyed how the author came into lives of the main characheters. This book showed how destructive people can be just because of the coulor of your skin. I just say no wonder people have grudges against white pepole. I am sorry for the bad writing but I do not want to drone away about a book. This book showed me emmence joy and sadness but it was overall a great read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book along with a few others to allow him to see how people react in certain situations. I hope he finds that it is better to do good than not. I still to this day find it facinating that books can take you to where the story takes place. This book will remain with us for a long time.
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