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3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,243 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
Two boys, separated by the canyons of time and two vastly different cultures, face the challenges by which they will become men.
Coyote Runs, an Apache boy, takes part in his first raid. But he is to be a man for only a short time.
More than a hundred years later, while camping near Dog Canyon, 15-year-old Brennan Cole becomes obsessed with a skull that he finds, pierced by
ebook, 192 pages
Published August 31st 2011 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 1990)
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SFrick I would refer you to the section on Wikipedia, ( under the section listed as Themes. A partial quote from…moreI would refer you to the section on Wikipedia, ( under the section listed as Themes. A partial quote from that reference is as: "Two boys, separated by the canyons of time and two vastly different cultures, face the challenges by which they will become men."(less)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 22, 2009 Joel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Canyons was an exciting and excilerating book. The author's style of dividing the book into two at the begining of the novel gives the reader a better understanding of the two main characters. The characters have a clear connection with each other. The author covers ordinary themes like frindship in a book as extra-ordinary as Canyons.
Jan 08, 2015 Orry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that "Canyons" by Gary Paulsen started out confusing but ended up being a good book. The way the story is told confused me because of the way it changed every chapter. The most important thing I learned from the book is that if you only have one parent that it is ok to accept change like a soon to be step dad.

"Canyons" starts out telling the story of an Native American boy that is becoming a man. The boys name is Coyote Runs, who has to go on a raid with the tribe to bring back horses
Sep 12, 2010 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Short and Sweet of It
Coyote Runs takes his place as a man among the Apache as he goes on his first raid. Over one hundred years later, Brennan Cole goes on a camping trip where he finds a skull which begins a journey connecting him to the past.

A Bit of a Ramble
I first read this book way back in the early 90s, and I fell in love. I may not have remembered the story, but I still remember the feeling I had after reading, that hard to explain sinking feeling. Not "sinking" like bad, but sinking
Mar 07, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Paulsen is normally a good writer. I'm not sure what was going on in this book. While I enjoy many of his tales, this one just didn't do it for me and the writing was kind of haphazard.

The story tells the tale of two different boys. One is Coyote Runs who has been invited to his first raid and takes place a little bit in the past while the Apache nation roamed the area. It is during this raid that he faces danger and so affects Brennan, the boy in the future's life. Brennan is a mostly self suff
William Young
Apr 21, 2014 William Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book “Canyons”, by Gary Paulsen was a very good book. In the beginning of the book it tells about a young indian boy named Coyote Runs. He goes on a raid with other members of his tribe and they get attacked by soldiers. Coyote Runs goes up to a canyon and is killed by the soldiers. Brennon, a young modern day boy, goes camping at the canyon where Coyote Runs was shot. He finds a skull and learns that it is Coyote Runs and he goes on a journey to return the skull.

Coyote Runs is a
Mashfee Alam
Nov 26, 2015 Mashfee Alam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Canyons, by Gary Paulsen follows the story of 15 year-old Brennan who finds a skull that belonged to someone else but from a different time period. The book starts off switching between two characters from chapter to chapter. This may seem a bit confusing at first, but because Gary Paulsen does such a good job on switching between character to character, the story flows very smoothly. Another great part of this book is the character development of Brennan. His view on the world and what he thoug ...more
Sereen Gallichio
The splendid book “Canyons” written by Gary Paulson is about a fifteen year old boy named Brennan Cole. This book talks about a diligent young boy who tries to avoid the men in and out of his mother's life. Brennan's mother is a hard worker who makes a living in Texas with her son. One day, Cole was forced to go on a trip with his mother and her boyfriend, which he did not find very entertaining nor amusing. The trip to El Paso turns out to be a life changing experience in the young boy’s life. ...more
Ray Ziemer
Gary Paulsen's "Canyons" appealed to me for a number of reasons: First, I am always on the look-out for good young adult fiction to help me understand the higher end of the genre. Second, it takes place in the Southwest - the desert of the ElPaso region, to be exact. Also, it is partly historical novel dealing with Native Americans. And maybe most important, a significant element of the book is the mysterious, supernatural connection between the modern protagonist and the historical Apache boy w ...more
Apr 06, 2008 Shawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marc Kohlman
Jul 15, 2016 Marc Kohlman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting and resonant! Well written and deep story. I first read this book in the 8th grade for my US History class and the second time for pleasure during my senior year of high school. The intertwining storylines and destinies of Coyote Runs and Brennan Cole combined with Paulsen's succinct, gripping and direct prose made this a page-turner I could not get enough of. The story is a classic one of two boys on the verge of "manhood" who struggle against great odds, fears and emotions to eventual ...more
I decided to give this book 5 stars because it is a Gary Paulsen story that I really liked. Paulsen's humor which I found lacking in the Brian trilogy is evivdent here. I found Brennan more likeable than Brian who is too stoic for my tastes. Brennan has a keener sense of humor and is more connected to people. Brian is way too much of an island. After the bias I found in The Woodsrunner I was pleased to that the protrayal of Coyote Runs came across as an honest one.

Some quotes:

"...the instant whe
Cait (Paper Fury)
The author, Gary Paulsen, didn't win four Newbery Awards for nothing. The book is just another example of his amazing writing skills.

Though best known for his famous Hatchet series, the Canyon feels no less real. The story line is an odd one -- divided between these two separate time zones of boys living "worlds" apart. Brennan is somehow drawn to this skull and can't get it off his mind until he does what it "wants" -- and takes the skull home to rest. But it changes school-boy Brennan and he n
Mar 25, 2014 Kylet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A deft and thought-provoking adventure novel." - Book list. "Canyons" is another great book by Gary Paulsen but it wasn't my favorite because it takes a while to get to the good part. I recommend Canyons to anybody in middle school and up. In Canyons there are two stories going on, one is about a apache boy who is going on raids to prove he is a man but he doesn't get to prove he is one for a long time... The main story is in modern time and is about a boy named Brannan. Brannan is a teenager w ...more
Ethan Meyer
15-year old Brennan Cole has to put up with lots of men in and out of his mother's life in this story.It is not very easy and before you know it Brennan is forced to go on a camping trip with his mother and her new boyfriend.While on the trip Brennan finds a skull to his obsession and finds out it came from a Indian warrior 14 years ago.
Brennan loves the outdoors and is out there any free time that he has. When he is outside he likes running. This summer he got a new job mowing lawns to pay for
Jan 19, 2014 Evan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-niños, fiction
"I liked how it was about a kid my age" according to my 6th grade cumulative reading log. I started it on 10/13/1996 and gave it a 5/6 rating.

In a 'Reader's Workshop' letter I wrote to my teacher Ms. Johnson, I said: The book I am reading now is called "Canyons" by Gary Paulsen. It is about a boy who goes camping in the canyons and discovers a skull of a young Apache boy from about 100 years ago. The Apache boy had been shot after going on his first raid. He was only about 12 or 13. While riding
Paulsen chooses interesting topics to write about, and he writes well. This particular story offers interesting look at the historical relationship between the Apaches and Calvary soldiers a century or so ago, which in itself is a bit chilling, and how a modern-day boy connects to the past. The fate of the Apache boy, Coyote Runs, is frightening, but Brennan's connection with him is fascinating, as is his own self-discovery. You can relate to the emotions of both boys—fear, elation, desperation, ...more
Susan Williams
I read this book in a span of four hours. True it was during an airport wait and plane ride but I found it an unique linkage of a past injustice to a modern day scenario. Is this fine literary drama? No, but I found the story of Coyote Runs and young runner Brennan held my interest from start to finish.
Coyote Runs, a 14 year old Apache on the cusp of manhood, is chosen by an elder to participate in a raid across the border to Mexico. In the encounter, he is brutally murdered, his spirit restles
Evyn Moffitt
Sep 13, 2015 Evyn Moffitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gary Paulsen is one of my favorite authors. I have read many of his books. Canyons is the latest book I read by him. This book is a great book and I recommend it to everyone. In some parts of the book it gets confusing but you just have to go back and slowly reread it. The book takes place in two different time eras. In both eras two boys face challenges that finely turn them into men. Both boys face dangerous but exciting challenges. The young Apache Indian from the earlier time era was finally ...more
This book absolutely blew my mind!

I picked this up for an assignment in a class of mine, and I did not expect to fall so fully in love with it. Not only is it a great learning tool for children, but it's a great story in and of itself!

The book follows two different fourteen-year-old boys: Brennan (present day) and Coyotes Run. They are the same age, but lived in different times in completely different ways. The contrast is incredible as you watch Coyotes Run want to become a 'man,' and Brennan s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hilary Lemon
Sep 03, 2010 Hilary Lemon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engl-420
Required Author - Gary Paulsen

I love Gary Paulsen. In fourth grade, I read Hatchet and Brian's Winter and thought they were fantastic. And they were. Something about Canyons, though, didn't rub me the right way.

In Canyons, Brennan Cole discovers a skull which, unbeknownst to him, belongs to Coyote Runs, a young Apache boy shot by American soldiers a century before. The book features a sort of supernatural connection between Brennan and the skull, which I found a little off-putting and atypical o
Dec 06, 2012 Cambrai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 420-shelf
Canyons by Gary Paulsen
Rating: **
Bookshelves: ENGL 420
Status: Read in November

This book was a quick read, alternating between two boys close in geographical location but divided by over one hundred years. Brennan discovers a love for history when he brings home a skull of Coyote Runs, a young Indian boy executed by Union soldiers. Coyote Runs connects spiritually with Brennan, guiding him to a secret place so Coyote can finally be laid to rest. This supernatural el
Dec 10, 2009 Abigail rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engl-420
Coyote Runs is trying to become a man as he grows up in a tribe that requires many rituals and marks of manliness to become accepted. In the same place at another point in time we watch Brennen Cole as he runs through the canyons and is struggling on his journey to become a man. The paralleled journeys add a great element to the story but by the time that I got halfway through the novel I enjoyed Coyote Runs' story much more than Brennan so I separated myself from the novel. Brennan finds a skul ...more
William Lui
THis books has a plot that is sort of interesting but it gets confusing because its like two stories being told at the same time and you forget what happens in one story when you read the the other story. This book is about a boys whos skull is buried along time ago when he was in the army. It describes how group of people lived back then in the days. Another side, a boy goes to camp with his mother and mother's boy friend. They are in the same mountains as the skull that is buried in. When he s ...more
Sophie Muller
Mar 13, 2015 Sophie Muller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-literature
Another beautiful book by Paulsen. Besides the main storyline of a modern boy teenager finding the remains of an Indian boy and how it affects and drives him to take action, I loved the parts about running, learning, and music. I'm actually listening to Malher's Resurrection Symphony as I type this. Human stupidity also gets its share of coverage when Stoney, Brennan’s employer, says:
“Here we are in the middle of the desert where nothing grows but mesquite and cactus and some snakes and people s
Apr 28, 2014 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this book had a good story. I never really wanted to put the book down. I thought what the author did with the last part of the book was pretty cool. What he did was he kind of distracted you with tons of details about the story, and then some action happens and throws you off track. The only reason I rated this book three stars was because their was some mild swearing with the main character. Also, the author put some real thought and effort in the first part of the book, put squ ...more
Feb 05, 2016 Erick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
I really liked my book,”The Canyons.”This book was one of my favorites because during the whole book there was like two stories going on.There was many details in the book that felt so real.Eventually the two stories came together and everything fit together.The author did a really good job on it because in the middle of the book,that’s when both stories started to get together and made the book even more better and mysterious.I would recommend this book to whoever likes stories about the Indian ...more
Larry Osoria
Nov 30, 2015 Larry Osoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Canyons is a novel by gary paulsen. In this novel , brennan cole is a hard worker. He tries to avoid the men who are with his mother. He is forced to go to a camping trip with his mother and his mothers new boyfriend. When he is camping he finds a real skull. This skull has a spirit and it messes with Brennan. On the skull it appears to have a bullet hole on the forehead. Brennan takes it home . Brennan is starting to have crazy dreams . He takes it to someone who would know a lot about the skul ...more
petes likes bacon
Nov 25, 2012 petes likes bacon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Canyons is a realistic fiction book by Gary Paulsen that takes place in the canyons of New Mexico and just outside them. This book is about two boys, an Apache boy named Coyote Runs who is going on his first raid to become a man, and Brennan who lives in modern times and finds Coyote Runs skull. They have a connection through "canyons of time" and Brennan knows he has to return he skull to the "medicine place" of Coyote Runs.
I liked this book because it was a fast paced action story and had lo
Jan 13, 2017 SFrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paulsen
As the young man, Brennan determines "We the people" - those that were in the Americas, long before the United States was settled, live in one form or another, throughout the ages.

The book by Gary Paulsen, captured my interest the whole way through. In the beginning, I was not quite sure how the old(100+ year) skull he unearthed would play a key role between two completely different times and link the two boys, Brennan and Coyote Runs together.

I found Brennan's determination to bring peace for t
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
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