First Nations Hatchet+time travel

Totem - Jennifer Maruno

Interesting local time-travel adventure that seems weirdly misclassified. This is absolutely a Middle Grade/Children's read. It's Coastal First Nations-meets-Hatchet-plus-Time-Travel.

There's a blond orphan in an island residential school in the 20th century. A new friend escapes with him to a cave where they travel to the 19th century and blondie learns totem carving and gets a spirit animal. The resolution isn't really great; the kids don't really do much other than learn and get some better choices for the future. Arguably, the protagonist may actually be a wolf spirit, since it seems to be what moves the story forward throughout. Which would be a great twist if it had been developed more. What is cool is reading some great historical details and recognizing a very Pacific Northwest/BC/Coastal First Nations setting. But no idea why this was classified as YA. Some glancing mentions of kids being molested and going missing would have been well within the acceptable range for MG-level dark. Recommended short read for ages 9-12 or so who are interested in local history.