BLUE JAY GIRL by Sylvia Ross


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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Because her friends’ parents think her dangerous, nine-year-old Blue Jay Girl tries to change her nature to that of a careful quail, but the tribal healer and her husband help her adopt careful ways without sacrificing her boldness. In a leisurely, storytelling fashion, the narrator describes Blue Jay Girl’s dawning recognition of her outsider status and the events that led up to it. Being bold, like a blue jay, she takes actions that solve her problem, visiting the tribal spiritual leader and then returning regularly to care for and learn from his aging wife, the medicine woman. Blue Jay Girl’s Yaudanchi language is sprinkled throughout. A pronunciation guide in the beginning omits the number words that head each chapter; the necessary glossary is at the end. Glossy illustrations reminiscent of Gauguin reflect the author-illustrator’s early experience as a painter for Disney. While the story is appropriate for middle-grade readers and listeners, the afterword, recounting this central Californian Native American culture’s sad history, is definitely for adults. An appealing window into a long-ago world. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59714-127-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Heyday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010


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