Drifting Snow: An Arctic Search

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-- Houston takes actual historical events and builds a story around an Inuit-Eskimo girl who returns to the Arctic to search for her roots. Elizabeth Queen, 13, leaves the security of foster care to find her family from whom she was separated as a toddler. Elizabeth, or ``Elizapee'' as she is called by the Nesak Island people who take her in, learns her native language and how to survive the harsh environment. As the nomadic group moves to its summer hunting area, she begins to realize how much this lifestyle means to her and yet, when she finally is reunited with her birth family in a large settlement, the decision about where she belongs is a difficult one. There is a little romance involved between Elizapee and Poota, her first benefactor in the Nesak Island family. A bit annoying is Houston's obvious admiration of the Eskimo people to the point that he generalizes, ``Always these northern people were watchful and cautious, for they intended to continue surviving in nature as they had for countless generations.'' While occasionally preachy, the spare prose gives readers a feel for an environment in which all energy is precious, not to be wasted. While this unique culture will be unfamiliar to most readers, the theme of a girl of ``both worlds'' searching for her identity is universal. Adolescents will relate to her struggles and see that growing up is never easy. --Mollie Bynum, Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140365306
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/10/1994
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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