GUESTS by Michael Dorris

GUESTS

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A brief look into Native American life just before it is irrevocably changed in this rite-of-passage tale of a young Indian boy. Moss is annoyed with his father for inviting the strangers--white men--to the village's annual harvest festival. He declares that he will not celebrate with the guests and goes to the edge of the village to sulk. There he meets Trouble, a girl about his age, and boastfully announces that he is going on his ``away time''--a boy's solitary journey into the forest to become a man and take a new name. Trouble does not believe him, so Moss foolhardily treks alone into the forest to prove her wrong. In the forest he learns about life, nature, and beauty from a grouchy old porcupine and transforms himself from a selfish little boy into a sensitive young man. Moss and Trouble meet again, and this time he shows a real interest in her. They develop a bond born of mutual understanding and return to the village to share in the festival. Interspersed with Moss's story are Indian legends that give the whole an added richness and depth, but the abrupt ending leaves the reader dissatisfied. Dorris obscures the simple story by weaving in too many threads--the white men, Trouble's troubled homelife--that dangle at the conclusion. A book that might have been outstanding had it delivered more or attempted less. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1994
ISBN: 0-7868-0047-X
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1994




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