In a time when the west was still untamed, sixteen-year-old Delbert Gardner leads two friends into the backcountry for a three day adventure. Little did they know three days of hunting and fishing would turn into eight days of near starvation, injury and illness. When hope of returning home seems out of reach, Delbert recalls watching his Native American friends construct a fishing weir and sets out to build one himself. To him, it is the only way out.
Readers of Delbert’s Weir will enjoy the journey they take with the main character as he struggles to prove himself in this historical fiction novel. The author’s knowledge of Native American culture helps her paint a vivid picture of the setting, placing the reader right in the action. The supporting characters are realistic and add to the depth of the story. The plot carries many exciting twists that keeps the reader intrigued. The book delves into the insecurities of youth….insecurities that are very relatable to youth today. As Delbert navigates his way through this adventure, we watch as he transforms as a person. Delbert’s Weir is both entertaining and engaging. I would highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. ~Jill Fifer, Retired Librarian and Educator
Since I’ve read Carmen’s first YA trilogy (starting with Change of Heart), it was fun to see she included Spupaleena in Delbert’s story as an admired aunt. The book begins with descriptive, emotional passages that set the scene for the adventure three boys are planning. Delbert Gardner and his two friends want to learn about traditional native hunting and fishing methods from his American Indian friend, Pekam. Delbert also wants to earn his Pa’s approval. The three boys set out into Northeast Washington Territory in the mid-1800s to test their knowledge and skills. What they planned as a fun excursion quickly turns into trials and opportunities for personal growth.
Carmen’s writing makes you feel like you are there with the boys, experiencing the days in the wilderness right along with them. Because she includes their flaws and fears, the characters are very relatable.
If you’re searching for a good historical YA book – or just one that combines clean entertainment with good life lessons, check out Delbert’s Weir. I, for one, am glad this is book one in the trilogy. That means there will be more books in the series to enjoy!
~Shanna Hatfield, USA Today bestselling author
Full of courage, humor, and dealing with human frailty, this is an 1870 historical coming of age experience as 16-year-old Delbert and his friends hoped for a back country adventure with their Native American friend. But it turns into a fight for survival. Practical survival skill tips in this story for readers on how to take care of yourself in a forest wilderness situation. The author writes from her background of Colville tribe reservation life, knowing the cultural traditions and legends, as well as the language. A fun, inspiring read for all ages, especially early teens.
~Janet Chester Bly, bestselling author