Chasing Bigfoot

Reycraft. Feb. 2022. 216p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781478875482.
Gr 5 Up–Cherokee Nation middle schooler Maurice “Chooch” Tenkiller wakes up gagged and tied to a chair with a cloth over his head in a dank, smelly basement. He doesn’t know what happened or where he is. He gradually remembers he and his cousin Janees, almost 13, and their uncles were on a road trip returning to Minnesota from North Carolina, where his professional storytelling uncles spoke at a conference. While there, they’d visited a sacred Cherokee site, Judaculla Rock, that’s covered by mysterious carvings and petroglyphs. It’s said that Tsul’kalu, a giant also known as Bigfoot, made his mark on the rock. Tsul’kalu and the Cherokee Little People have foreseen that Chooch is destined to carry their message out to the world. A Little Person that only Chooch can see gives him Ulvsati, a sacred crystal that, when held up to the rock, brings all the rock’s markings alive and allows him to hear the message. Unbeknownst to Chooch and his family, the unscrupulous Dr. Almasty and his henchmen intend to kidnap Chooch, because they believe he can read the rock’s markings that they think are a map to hidden gold. Coulson, of the Cherokee Nation, keeps the action moving in short chapters, told alternatingly by Chooch, Janees, Dr. Almasty, and Tsul’kalu. The fact that the villains are cartoonishly buffoonish serves to counter the young heroes’ actions. The character Chooch was also featured in Coulson’s novella The Reluctant Storyteller.
VERDICT An appealing addition to the growing body of middle grade fiction by and about Indigenous peoples.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing