An enriching, information-rich resource that centers an Indigenous perspective.

POWWOW

A CELEBRATION THROUGH SONG AND DANCE

From the Orca Origins series

The modern powwow has been uniting Indigenous peoples in joyous celebration of culture for decades, but its roots are far older.

Anishninaabe author and educator Pheasant-Neganigwane has crafted a narrative that tells the history of the powwow, a celebration of Indigenous culture that occurs throughout North America. She describes the history of colonization and Indigenous resistance that culminated in the 19th century—a time when song and dance gatherings also were restricted by both the governments of Canada and the U.S. Holding steadfast to traditional culture and expressing it in the unlikeliest of places—the so-called “wild west shows” and harvest fairs—Indigenous peoples gradually developed these gatherings of song and dance into what are now vibrant celebrations that occur across the continent all year long. The powwow includes many aspects of Indigenous culture: rodeos, fashion shows, and even music awards. The gallery of photos throughout the book gives readers seats at a powwow, an event that is described as a continual space to restore kinship and preserve Indigenous identity. Weaving her own powwow experiences into her narrative, the author describes the formal elements of a powwow as well as regional variations. Sidebars look at related topics such as fry bread and victory songs, and the book ends with a brief primer of powwow etiquette and glossary of cultural vocabulary.

An enriching, information-rich resource that centers an Indigenous perspective. (resources) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1234-5

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012).

UGLY

A memoir of the first 14 years in the life of Australian Robert Hoge, born with stunted legs and a tumor in the middle of his face.

In 1972, Robert is born, the youngest of five children, with fishlike eyes on the sides of his face, a massive lump in place of his nose, and malformed legs. As baby Robert is otherwise healthy, the doctors convince his parents to approve the first of many surgeries to reduce his facial difference. One leg is also amputated, and Robert comes home to his everyday white, working-class family. There's no particular theme to the tale of Robert's next decade and a half: he experiences school and teasing, attempts to participate in sports, and is shot down by a girl. Vignette-driven choppiness and the lack of an overarching narrative would make the likeliest audience be those who seek disability stories. However, young Robert's ongoing quest to identify as "normal"—a quest that remains unchanged until a sudden turnaround on the penultimate page—risks alienating readers comfortable with their disabilities. Brief lyrical moments ("as compulsory as soggy tomato sandwiches at snack time") appeal but are overwhelmed by the dry, distant prose dominating this autobiography.

An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-425-28775-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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