The magical legends of the West Coast Salish people continue to inspire Red Deer author Judy Moody, who has just self-published her second Golden Eye story for young readers.
Golden Eye and the Killer Cat starts where Moody’s first book, Golden Eye and the Deadly Dancer, leaves off. This time, the 12-summers-old Salish boy, who was born with spirit powers, is on his way to visit the Nuu-chah-nulth people, a whaling nation on the western shore of Protector (Vancouver) Island.
A dangerous mountain lion attacks Golden Eye several times, en route, requiring the boy to use all his wits, strength and spirit powers to escape.
As in the first book, Golden Eye assumes a role in some aboriginal legends. For instance, while he’s visiting the Qu’wutsun village, elders convince the great spirit, Thunderbird, to come to their aid to remove the giant supernatural killer whale, Qwunus, who’s blocking their salmon river.
Golden Eye and the villagers witness a tremendous battle and Qwunus is eventually defeated.
Moody said she first become interested in the legends of West Coast aboriginals while boating with friends around Salt Spring Island.
At about the same time, she said, “I was reading the Harry Potter books, and learning about these legends — the way people lived and their beliefs in spirit powers — and I thought, we could have our very own West Coast Harry Potter.”
Moody believes the legends offer fascinating glimpses into a rich aboriginal culture that most Canadians don’t know much about. “I’d like the greatness of their culture to be appreciated.”
Her two books for young readers have, so far, been well received — Moody said they are being sold in an aboriginal cultural centre on Vancouver Island, and also received the thumbs up from a tribal council member from the West Coast.
Her Golden Eye character was also recently a hit with a couple of young aboriginal students at West Park School in Red Deer when she did a reading there.
“Their faces were just glowing,” she recalled.
Golden Eye and the Killer Cat is available for $19.95 from Chapters or Coles bookstores. Moody will also be selling the book at several Christmas craft fairs in Red Deer and Lacombe, including the Westerner bazaar on Dec. 5. As well, she’s holding a reading and book signing on Dec. 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the members’ lounge of the Memorial Centre. Everyone is welcome.