MOTHER'S BLESSING by Penina Keen Spinka

MOTHER'S BLESSING

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In the tenth century, Old Man prophesies the birth of a great ``wot'' (leader) to Swordfish and Pretty One. But the baby is a girl: Old Man is exiled for his falsehoods, and Swordfish abandons Pretty One and her daughter. But ``Child'' is extraordinarily bright and capable; as an adolescent, she travels east from what is now California on a spirit quest, discovering the prophecy and its truth. Returning home with corn that grows in spite of drought, she takes her place as ``pacwot''--unifier and leader of three feuding villages, ensuring the survival of all. Presented as a prequel to Spinka's first book (White Hare's Horses, 1991, also about the Chumash lands and people), this further establishes the author's skill as a fluent storyteller who is well versed in North American legend. Readers may be mildly distanced from the heroine, whose struggles are minor given her idealized intellect and nobility; however, Spinka's search for the human incarnations of mythical figures and her creative realizations of archetypal events are entirely captivating. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-689-31758-1
Page count: 218pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1992