The Book

"Brighty of the Grand Canyon"

Many of you already are familiar with Marguerite Henry, who wrote "Misty of Chincoteague" and other tales about the wild island ponies of Maryland and Virginia.

Henry knew a good animal story when she heard one, and when she learned about a wild burro who met Theodore Roosevelt, helped catch a killer and left his mark on the Grand Canyon -- in the form of trails followed by human visitors -- she knew he deserved a book of his own.

The burro's name was Bright Angel, after the creek he lived near, but he was called Brighty for short. He roamed around Arizona in the late 1800s and early 20th century, spending his winters deep inside the canyon where it was warmer and his summers in the cooler fields of the canyon's rim, and becoming friends with an old miner who was searching for gold.

The story begins with the mysterious death of the miner and goes on to relate, in heart-stopping detail, Brighty's next adventures: battling a mountain lion, becoming the first to cross the canyon's suspension bridge, hunting with Theodore Roosevelt and matching wits with a really bad guy. The book is exciting and action-packed, and by the end you'll be a fan both of Brighty and of the beautiful, majestic canyon.

-- Elizabeth Chang