________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 32. . . .April 23, 2010


Golden Eye and the Killer Cat.

Judith Anne Moody. Illustrated by Rita Schoenberger.
Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2009.
236 pp., pbk., $19.49.
ISBN 978-14251-7684-6.

Subject Headings:
Coast Salish Indians-Juvenile fiction.
Puma-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Ruth McMahon.

** /4



“Welcome to you Golden Eye,” announced the Ceremony Chief. “We have heard of your wonderful spirit powers –– your blessings from the Great Spirit –– and of your protection by the spirits of the wolves of the forest and of orca, the sea-wolf. We welcome you in honour of your chieftain father Grey Fox, your good mother Whispering Dawn, your grandfather, the shaman Strong Oak, and your grandmother, the wise medicine woman Robin Song. Stories of your power to turn back a forest fire, to become invisible to the great bear and to take shapes when in danger, have come to us from travelers. We are happy to welcome such a special one to our lodges and our fires.

Welcome also to your friend and companion Tan Buck, who we are told came to your rescue without thinking of his own safety. Welcome to you both. We are honored by your visit.”

Golden Eye and the Killer Cat is the second book in the adventures of Golden Eye. In the first book, his unique gifts are revealed (summarised in the above passage) and his adventures continue in this volume as he travels to meet with the “great Kwakwaka’wakw people of the northeast corner of Protector Island.” And as one would guess from the title, he encounters the Killer Cat. Along the way he has many adventures on land and water and many native legends are incorporated in the story.

    I didn’t find this second installment in Golden Eye’s story as compelling as the first. Moody maintained the tone of respect, compassion and appreciation, but I found the writing uneven. Some of the difficulties may have been overcome with some further editing. Further editing may have also caught some of the typing (notice honour in the above passage) and factual (e.g. the incorrect citing of the name of the bird the Stellar’s Jay p.79) errors. These errors are unfortunate as they cause the reader to question the strength of other aspects of the story.

     Moody’s goal is worthy and her offering valuable, but I do not think it will be of as much interest to her intended audience as was her first installment. There is still the connection with Social Studies and Language Arts curricula that may be of interest to some libraries. For those with extra money, Golden Eye and the Killer Cat may be a useful addition.

Recommended with reservations.

Ruth McMahon is a professional children's librarian, storyteller, co-chair of the Rocky Mountain Children's Choice Book Award, and the mother of two elementary school aged children.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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