Hunter’s Choice

Trent Reedy. Norton, $17.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-32-401137-8
In the small town of McCall, Idaho, Hunter Higgins, 12, has spent years preparing for “the weekend of his first-ever hunt,” a coming-of-age ceremony in his white family. Now that he’s completed gun safety training, Hunter finally gets to join his lawyer father, construction worker grandfather, and Uncle Rick, an Army National Guard member—who served in Afghanistan 10 years ago and whose PTSD-like symptoms threaten to estrange him from his wife and daughter—on the last hunt of the season. There’s just one problem: though Hunter desperately wants to bag his first buck to prove himself, he feels deep uncertainty over killing an animal. His plans are upset when Yumi, Uncle Rick’s half-Japanese, half-white daughter and Hunter’s best friend and classmate, and her bespectacled friend Annette Willard, Hunter’s secret crush, show up at the family lodge to join the hunt, shifting the hunters’ all-male dynamic. Vividly realistic passages about shooting and hunting enrich the narrative, while explorations of toxic masculine attitudes in hunting culture, fear of failure, and trauma underscore the steady action. Though a slightly contrived final act and overly neat ending muddle the thematic impact, intertwining Hunter’s growth with his uncle’s narrative makes for an emotionally satisfying read. Ages 9–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/25/2021
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Children's
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