About The Author
Karen Bass is a multi-award-winning author who produces amazing literature for all ages. She has written many books, but her most popular ones are The Hill and Graffiti Knight. This former library employee now resides in Alberta, Canada, where she continues her career as an author.
The Book, Itself
The Hill: Even the name sounds intriguing. In this thriller, we join two polar opposites after a terrible plane crash has occurred. The story takes place in the middle of a forest blanketed in thick greenery and trees. It is set in the twenty-first century. Both teens must face the thrill of survival and mystery together as they come face to face with creatures from Cree Mythology. The boys have to learn to show mutual respect towards one another in order to defeat a brutal monster from a whole new world.
Meet The Characters
Meet Jared, he is a fifteen year boy from a large city in America. His father is the Co-Executive of a wealthy corporation in Canada. Jared mostly lives with his mother within a rich lifestyle, but visits his father commonly by private jet. Although Jared is athletic and smart, he lacks the knowledge of survival skills, social skills, and modesty. He dresses in expensive clothing and doesn't care to brag about his wealth. Now meet Kyle. Kyle has always lived the life as a hunter and gatherer. His family and ancestors are native to Canadian forests, which gives him the upper hand in survival skills, sense of direction, and history of the land. Don't get me wrong, Kyle isn't the kind of Native that you see wearing furs and weaving bowls, his tribe dresses modernly and is well acquainted with current lifestyles. Kyle is taller and stronger than Jared. Kyle is caring about his family but gets ill tempered towards Jared's attitude. On page 88, Kyle says, "The rich white boy never thinks of us, unless he goes downtown and sees a homeless First Nations guy, maybe begging, maybe drunk, maybe passed out. And the white boy thinks, 'Why doesn't he go back to wherever he came from?' Or maybe the homeless guy is garbage. Not a real person." With this quote, it is easy to tell that the boys feel as though there is racial judging between them.
Within this novel are many terms from the Cree heritage. Here are a few of those terms: Kokum (which means grandmother), Moniyaw (which means friend), Wihtiko (which is a monster spirit known as a Cree legend), Nehiyawak (which is a name for Cree), Namoya (which means no), Kinisitohten (which means "understand?"), Kisata (which means stay), and many more.
I believe that the theme of this novel is that, without trust and respect, you will not get anywhere. I believe this because both teenagers conflict throughout the book, but only when they begin to work together is when problems start being solved. On the back cover of the book, it says, "Together, they learn that outwitting a creature from the spirit world is only possible with mutual respect."
As a resulting evaluation of the book, I would rate this novel as a well told, meaningful adventure. It teaches readers that all races are to be treated equal and to work together. I find it absolutely interesting to hear the book mention a new landmark in the making: The Crazy Horse Monument. It is interesting to me because I have actually visited this location on a vacation into the Black Hills of America. If I could describe it in three words, I would select mystery (because of how the audience is constantly on their toes), overcome (because both teens must overcome each others differences to fix a problem), and culture (because I was .I think anybody who enjoys a mysterious thriller should totally check this book out.
The Hill written by Karen Bass and published by Pajama Press.