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RED RIVER GIRL by Norma Sommerdorf

RED RIVER GIRL

By Norma Sommerdorf

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-1903-7
Publisher: Holiday House

Thirteen-year-old Josette Dupre, daughter of a French voyageur and an Ojibwe woman, has a dream of some day going to school in Montreal for a higher education, but when her mother dies and her father takes a job on a buffalo hunt, she knows that dream may escape her. The buffalo hunt leads to a job as a teamster, taking furs and meat down to St. Paul, a rough town in 1846. There, Josette meets Harriet Bishop, the new teacher in town. Since Josette knows French, Ojibwe and some English, she’s hired as an interpreter at the school. Harriet becomes her mentor, telling her, “Don’t give up your dreams.” Written as Josette’s diary, this is a good story trapped in the wrong format. The flat prose never sounds like Josette’s voice, hampering the telling from the start. However, this story of the Métis, persons of mixed French and Indian heritage, will appeal to those who enjoy historical coming-of-age tales. (foreword, acknowledgments, afterword, glossary) (Historical fiction. 8-12)