A contemporary Ojibwa girl navigates bullying and young love during summer school.
In Sigafus’ (White Earth Ojibwa) follow-up to Nowhere To Hide (2019), Autumn prepares to spend part of the summer getting tutored for her dyslexia. As if summer school weren’t bad enough, she learns she will be attending with Sydney, who bullied her all last year. Though at first Sydney seems to leave her alone, all that changes when the new boy, Adam—a tall, Native guy with long black hair and blue eyes—shows an interest in Autumn. Despite her own hesitation to open up and get close to someone and Sydney’s attacks, Autumn begins a relationship with Adam. But just as things seem happy, renewed conflict between her divorced parents threatens Autumn’s newfound hope. Moments such as when Autumn removes her moccasins after a day of shopping provide the cultural nuance readers have come to expect from #ownvoices stories. Although readers new to the series might benefit from experiencing Book 1, the ambitious plot unfolds either too quickly or in snippets too small to satisfy. Additionally, tensions and conflicts resolve before they adequately build, creating static characters that fail to draw in the reluctant readers who are the intended audience. Except for Autumn’s mother and Aunt Jessie’s boyfriend, who are white, the remaining characters are identified or assumed to be Ojibwa.
Promises a new dawn but unfortunately never rises. (resources) (Fiction. 12-16)