JaniceHeck

My Time to Write, but The Cats have The Last Meow!

YA Book Review: Silki, The Girl of Many Scarves: Summer of the Ancient

Something isn’t right on Concho Mountain.

Someone or something is out there.

Silki knows it, and Silki’s horse, Smiles, knows it.

What? A snake? A mountain lion? A wild, winged creature with an agonizing shriek? An Ancient Ant Man looking to settle a grudge?

Silki’s active imagination and Smiles’ skittishness force a hasty retreat back to the safe confines of the family compound.

Silki races to tell her “extreme tale” (another one!) to Birdie, her best friend (former best friend?), but Birdie’s mind is already on her new, cool, more sophisticated (and normal) volleyball friends. Besides, Birdie is secretly just a little freaked out by Silki’s fantastic stories of a revenge-seeking Ancient Ant Man who demands the return of sacred relics they have collected near Red Rocks on the Rez (Navajo reservation).

This engaging book, written by Jodi Lea Stewart, has several themes. Being an adolescent, one theme, is not easy with its sometimes wobbly friendships, divided loyalties, and changing interests. Add some mystery, let’s say scary mystery, and you have a spell-binding story. Now add Navajo culture and traditions, a few characters with long-held secrets, a bit of odd behavior now and then, a kidnapping, and… I’m breathless!

Open the book to any page, and you will find exquisite writing with descriptions fresh and alive. The story begins on “a sweet pepperminty day in the high country when spring teases winter into moving over a little” and goes on from there. Upper elementary and junior high teachers will delight in using this book and having students pick out their favorite passages.

Here’s a little teaser.

What was I doing? It was more than just boredom egging me on. It was like I was uncorking a bottle and all the troubled Wol-la-chee liquid was pouring out and I couldn’t stop it no matter what. A thrilling craziness pulled me like a magnet.

The thrilling craziness in this book kept me up ’til the wee hours of the morning. I loved the book, and now I am sending it to my twelve-year-old granddaughter who lives in Arizona.

Hurry up, Jodi, and finish the second book in the Summer of the Ancient series. I want to know what happens next.

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4 thoughts on “YA Book Review: Silki, The Girl of Many Scarves: Summer of the Ancient

  1. Oh, my dear Janice! I am deeply touched by your wonderful review of my novel. It is heartwarming to read your insightful impressions of the story and plot. I highly value your input, and I’m honored that you want to share it with your granddaughter.

    You make the hard journey worth every single step! Thank you, thank you! *now get some sleep!*

    Blessings!

  2. Tami Clayton on said:

    I have Jodi’s book in my TBR pile and am looking forward to reading it even more now that I’ve read your review. :)

  3. I already knew that Jodi was a captivating writer in light of her always wonderful blog where she has such a talent of “turning a phrase.”

    Your review of Silki is so beautifully and thoughtfully composed, Janice. I, too, hope to get through my current pile of reading commitments so I can waste away an afternoon of delightful reading :-D

  4. I also enjoyed Jodi’s book. Silki was such a real character, somebody easy to relate to despite how different she was from me. The setting, also somewhat foreign to me, was very real and I felt like I was there with Silki throughout the story. I love your thoughts about how teachers could use this book.

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