Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 7 to 11
Eighteen-year-old Ashley Anowiak is an eco-warrior who is prepared to go to any lengths to bring to the world's attention the plight of Planet Earth. She's already burned down the office of the local oil company. Now she's ready to move out of her own Arctic community and into the international spotlight.
Ashley is part of group called the Dream Drummers, who have been invited to perform at New York's Carnegie Hall. Here the adventure only begins, as she and her group of friends are pirated off to Australia by an embittered former environmentalist bent on executing a mysterious cataclysmic gesture which will endanger everyone.
It's at this moment that Ashley and the Dream Drummers are called to perform on the massive Scorched Earth Stage, in front of an audience of half a million, and a television audience of half the world's population.
Jamie Bastedo's story takes place against a big canvas-moving swiftly from Arctic Canada to urban New York to the Australian desert, with astute observations and insights into each environment. His protagonist is a spunky teenager, his villain a classic dark force-and his story a cautionary tale for the 21st century that is bound to inspire young readers into learning more about the biggest crisis to face the world in its history.
About the author
Jamie Bastedo, former CBC North host and author of Shield Country: The Life and Times of the Oldest Piece of the Planet, Reaching North: A Celebration of the Subarctic and Blue Lake and Rocky Shores, reflects on the charm and mystery of the Canadian Shield. He writes to inform and to inspire, telling a "story of place." He lives in Yellowknife, NWT and operates a touring company that takes tourists on tours of the North and also runs an environmental consulting company.
"Riveting. A rare combination of storytelling and science writing that keeps you reading."
— CBC North
"Although aimed primarily at young adults and absolutely suitable for them in every way, this novel will be enjoyed by older teens and also by adults. There is a great deal of sound science underlying the adventure, travel and mystery, and the imaginative story is an excellent vehicle both for eliciting concern regarding the environment and for promoting steps for change . . . The novel leaves no doubt regarding the crisis facing us, but it also reinforces the idea that everyone, like eco-warrior Ashley, can make a change if only we channel knowledge and passion, head and heart, towards healing our planet for this generation and those to come. This novel is entertaining yet provocative and deserves a priority spot on everyone's reading list as well as on library and classroom shelves.
Highly Recommended." ****/4
— CM Magazine
"Sila's Revenge is a thought provoking novel. Bastedo includes simple and interesting science to help understand global warming, along with personal accounts from the characters to personalize climate change. . . A good addition to environmental fiction."
Rated G (Good, Great)
— Resource Links
"Bastedo folds fact and theory on climate change into a fantasy novel that urges readers to hope, rather than anger. Plot, more than character, propels the story, but what sticks in the mind is Ashley's initiation into a dramatic geography and geology, a reminder that it's in confronting the natural world that we are motivated to save or repair it."
— The Toronto Star
"This follow-up to Jamie Bastedo's On Thin Ice is a thrilling story that weaves its way around the world with its urgent and powerful message that resonates on every page. . . Bastedo packs a lot into this story which manages to be action-packed and intense while also conveying an almost surreal, timeless and dream-like quality at times. The book is filled with intriguing and engaging characters who will help inspire readers to recognize that each individual can make a difference."
— Canadian Children's Book News
"Red Deer Press is a wonderful Canadian company and they have the most wonderful YA novels. . . Bastedo created a very well crafted, informative, entertaining and surprisingly 'mystery/like' novel that passes along the eco message loud and clear yet, kept me completely hooked into the storyline and attached to the main character."
"As mighty and mending as 10,000 drums! Sila's Revenge is a global adventure with a uniting message. Jamie Bastedo is truly at the top of his game."
— Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed and The Moon of Letting Go
"This youth thriller set in a forbidding future ... picks up where Bastedo's last novel, On Thin Ice, left off. Our heroine, Ashley Anowiak, is now 18 and her informed passion for protecting the planet has intensified ... Ashley has explosive youthful energy and raw determination on her side, but can she summon the collective action needed to change the climate's future?... A powerful voice that demands to be heard."
— News North
"The glowing core of this adventure story is about the Power of One - how one person with a little passion, talent, and heart can help tip the environmental balance away from destruction and collapse towards hope and healing."
— Dr. David G. Malcolm, PhD, Former Executive Director, Canadian Circumpolar Institute
"Yes, Bastedo is a fine writer, but more than that, he is able to sift through all the data and pull out the most riveting and heartbreaking examples of environmental destruction for his readers. By bringing the Arctic to Australia, Bastedo makes a statement about the similarity of peoples and problems, and about the need for a unified front to preserve all of life on this planet. Sila's Revenge is a page-turning adventure tale, but it is also a call to action. This book speaks for the young adults it is written for, addressing an issue that will define their future and showing them a protagonist they can emulate. As Ashley says to an assembled crowd of over-30 scientists, "There's no more time to pussyfoot around with carbon tagets fifty years from now... Most of you will be dead by that time. We're the ones who'll still be here..."
— Deborah Adams/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book
"The topic is extremely timely, and Bastedo manages to pull off a story that will draw readers who enjoyed the first installment, who have a strong interest in environmental concerns, and who like unique and quirky adventures."
— School Library Journal
Sila’s RevengeWhen the Dream Drummers, a group of young Arctic musicians, are invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the four friends and fellow band members are thrilled and nerve-wracked. Ashley Anowiak, their leader, embraces the opportunity to bring their ecological message to a new and larger audience, to try to give these people a glimpse into the terrible truth of climate change and the dire effects that it wreaks upon her Arctic home each and every day. The foursome give a stirring performance which brings them to the attention of the eerie, enigmatic and exceedingly wealthy Jack Masters. Jack recruits Ashley and company to come to his home in Australia to participate in an aboriginal music festival for Mother Earth. However, as preparations for the Scorched Earth Festival intensify, it becomes increasingly clear to Ashley that Jack has something major – something very ominous – planned, the dramatic impact of which will be felt around the globe.
This follow-up to Jamie Bastedo’s On Thin Ice is a thrilling story that weaves its way around the world with its urgent and powerful message that resonates on every page. Ashley’s deep, mystical connection to the earth and its creatures is vital and gripping, and readers will all but feel the beat of their drums as the heartbeat of this wholly engaging tale. Bastedo packs a lot into this story which manages to be action-packed and intense while also conveying an almost surreal, timeless and dream-like quality at times. The book is filled with intriguing and engaging characters who will help inspire readers to recognize that each individual can make a difference. It is a book that would also provide numerous exciting opportunities for discussion in a classroom setting.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2010. Vol.33 No.2.
Other titles by Jamie Bastedo
Protectors of the Planet
Environmental Trailblazers from 7 to 97
Trans Canada Trail
Free as the Wind
On Thin Ice
Falling for Snow
A Naturalist's Journey into the World of Winter
A Celebration of the Subarctic
Tracking Triple Seven
The Life and Times of the Oldest Piece of the Planet