Southwest Children's  Literature

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Eighth graders at Emily Gray Junior High discussed the book online via a wiki. Two students responded to my prompt asking about the setting.

Prompt: How do you think the setting contributes to this book? Would it be as suspenseful if they were somewhere less desolate or dangerous? Does the setting of the story affect your mood as you read it?

"I think the setting really changes the mood of the story. It is much more dangerous because if something happened to them, like when Adam kicked a rock at a girl in the group and she got hurt. If anything more happened, it would be very, very bad." - J.N.

"Well, the Grand Canyon sort of sets the mood because it is known to have a pretty fierce river. No one would guess it would be smooth sailing. Plus, it is kinda nice to have a book about somewhere near where you live. Since we've been there, we can sort of somehow relate to it. I bet Paul can. He said he rafted the Grand Canyon. (or maybe a different river.... I forget.)" - A.R.

These are one student's computer renderings with comments on certain scenes from the book.


Jack's drawing

Jack: "The first drawing is of when Adam and Troy went down Crystal Rapids and flipped, almost killing them both. I don't see why Adam went with Troy. Shouldn't it have been Pug? Pug is the big tough one. He should have been in the boat. Instead he wimped out. I don't get that."


Jack's drawing

Jack: "The second drawing is of when Troy and Pug put the deadly scorpion in Freddy's sleeping bag. They are inside the tent and those are their shadows. I think that was a terrible, evil thing to do and they should be locked away. They're two psychos who could kill anybody if they got mad enough. I wonder if they could get charged for murder for doing that."