Saturday, May 19, 2012

Charlene Reviews: Because of the Moon by C.J. Cutayne

ISBN #: 978-0987689313
Page Count: 332
Copyright: November 12, 2011
Publisher: Blue Moose Publishing

(Taken from Amazon)

A very funny teen novel. "Obedience is for dogs," spouts Jay; an out of control thirteen year old. Arrested for being at a chop shop, Jay can either go to juvenile detention or move to the poor Indian reservation his mother shunned fourteen years ago where his estranged grandfather will oversee Jay's penance.

Jay's latest prank, 'rat day' and his unique way of dealing with a bully make Because of the Moon a book you won't soon forget. A humorous, clever and fast-paced story. The reader will be taken on a journey with a boy who rules his own world.

Freedom to roam the city, staying out late, tagging, and pulling pranks at school. Jay loves his life until he gets caught. Not understanding that he even had First Nations blood in him has come as a shock. Learning he has a Grampa in a remote village is even more shocking. Having to go live with him for six months is devastating. Moving to a new school and a new town is not how Jay envisioned spending his summer. His grampa is a task master and has Jay working evenings and weekends. The time they spend together is not all drudgery as Jay learns about his First Nations heritage and even how to carve a totem pole.

Being the new kid in town draws attention from the whole village. Jay gets to know and appreciate the quirky villagers such as the crazy cat lady who won't stop making Bannock, the "witch" doctor, the roving band of dogs and the artist turned alcoholic, Johnny Walker. If Jay can survive the bully, the villagers may also learn to appreciate him, too.

Charlene's Review:

When Jay, born and raised in the city, finds himself on the wrong side of the law, his mother contacts his estranged grandfather, and the Court "sentences" him to live in his ancestors Indian village for six months. Jay is reluctant to give up the City he loves, and grudgingly attends a new school where he is taunted by the school bully. His days off are spent cleaning out his grandfather's garage, as community service. As the days go by, and he is enlisted in his grandfather's secret project, Jay finds himself at home in the village, and may possibly be the key that revives the reservation's way of life.

Because of the Moon is a beautifully written story. Culture and family pay a huge role in this story. As Jay learns pride in his work and his family history, he is transformed, and in turn, returns a village to its previous glory. A very simple and heartwarming story about finding out what really matters. It is labeled as a teen novel, but I found it equally as enchanting for adults. Ms. Cutayne has a gift for understanding adolescence and it shines through the character of Jay. Very enjoyable book with a lot of First Nations Indian history.

*Hard copy of book was given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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