Next time, Dance should focus on a single agenda or, better yet, tell a single story. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

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A paint horse spends her life with several different owners on the Great Plains of the late 1800s.

An orphaned foal, the paint is raised by a young Lakota boy and trained to hunt buffalo. When white soldiers raid the Lakota camp, the mare escapes and is caught by a white man, who also uses her to hunt buffalo. When the buffalo are gone, the man sells her to a homesteader hoping to raise cattle. After drought and harsh winters devastate his operation, the mare, now aged, ends up with a new homesteading family in western Canada. None of this is glossed over; animals die, often unpleasantly. Dance has done extensive research, which unfortunately impedes her story—or stories, as the novel suffers extremely from its lack of focus, jumping from episode to episode, narrator to narrator, and issue to issue without resolution or clarity. Readers will be frustrated by the almost-ending, in which the horse may be lost in a dust storm that may have destroyed a family's livelihood, or not. Concluding notes provide background on terminology, wild horses and homesteaders, and a timeline places the fictional events in context of history, much of it concerning atrocities and hardships suffered by Native Americans.

Next time, Dance should focus on a single agenda or, better yet, tell a single story. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4597-2868-4

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Dundurn

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

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Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-395-53680-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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