June 28, 2012

Wilderness adventure

The Boy Kelsey
by Alfred Silver

In 1690, young Henry Kelsey is sent on a two-year surveying and trading expedition on behalf of the Company of Adventurers (Hudson's Bay). After he is abandoned in the wilderness by his Cree guides, Kelsey is rescued by Meyokwaiwin, daughter of the Cree leader. Together, Kelsey and Meyokwaiwin survive the cold winters while making their way back to the York Factory fort.

This is a book with a lot of description, making it a bit hard to really get into at first. But persistent readers will find much to interest them, especially if they like history and wilderness adventure. From the rugged Canadian landscape to the Indian way of life, the novel also highlights the fragile relationship between European fur traders and the Native Canadian tribes. An author's note at the end discusses the facts and myths about the real Henry Kelsey, the first explorer to set foot in Saskatchewan.

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