Lana's Lakota Moons

Lana's Lakota Moons

5.0 3
by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
     
 

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This charming and poignant contemporary story about two Lakota girls and their Laotian friend illuminates for children and adults the Lakota meaning of family, friendship, life, and death. In the Lakota way, Lana and her cousin Lori are like sisters, growing up together under the caring eyes of an extended family of parents and grandparents. Also like sisters, they

Overview

This charming and poignant contemporary story about two Lakota girls and their Laotian friend illuminates for children and adults the Lakota meaning of family, friendship, life, and death. In the Lakota way, Lana and her cousin Lori are like sisters, growing up together under the caring eyes of an extended family of parents and grandparents. Also like sisters, they have their share of squabbles and fights, but when they meet a new girl at school who has recently arrived from Laos, they are drawn closer by their shared friendship, their discoveries about cultural differences, and their experience with loss and death. An image of footprints in the snow, one under the other so that it looks as if only one person is walking, becomes the central compelling image in the story. "We can't keep snow from melting," says Grandpa, "But the footprints will always be there, even if we can't see them."
 
Taking her inspiration from Lakota and Asian students in her home state of South Dakota, award-winning children's writer Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve has crafted a simple story of friendship that survives a tragic year, beautifully illuminating along the way many profound truths about the human spirit.

Editorial Reviews

ForeWord
Both educational and historical in nature, Lana’s Lokota Moons is sure to capture the interest of the young and the young-at-heart. With its beautifully narrated legends and amusing characters, Sneve has created a story that is both a tribute to her heritage and a poignant chronicle of the end of adolescent innocence.—ForeWord

— Amy Falberg

New West
I can’t imagine a young reader of this book who won’t be drawn to the portrait of the strong community around these girls that Driving Hawk Sneve creates.—Jenny Shank, New West

— Jenny Shank

Booklist
The mix of Great Plains history with the contemporary scene rings true. . . . Lori’s lively personal narrative will draw readers as she copes with anger, guilt, sorrow, and finally, the loss of her sister, even as she realizes that, in the Lakota way, the girls will always be connected.—Hazel Rochman, Booklist

— Hazel Rochman

Skipping Stones
This is a story seeped in native traditions, and as Lori and Lana learn about their Indian ancestors, we learn to appreciate life and family.—Nina Murray, Skipping Stones

— Nina Murrary

ForeWord - Amy Falberg
“Both educational and historical in nature, Lana’s Lokota Moons is sure to capture the interest of the young and the young-at-heart. With its beautifully narrated legends and amusing characters, Sneve has created a story that is both a tribute to her heritage and a poignant chronicle of the end of adolescent innocence.”—ForeWord
New West - Jenny Shank
“I can’t imagine a young reader of this book who won’t be drawn to the portrait of the strong community around these girls that Driving Hawk Sneve creates.”—Jenny Shank, New West

Booklist - Hazel Rochman
“The mix of Great Plains history with the contemporary scene rings true. . . . Lori’s lively personal narrative will draw readers as she copes with anger, guilt, sorrow, and finally, the loss of her sister, even as she realizes that, in the Lakota way, the girls will always be connected.”—Hazel Rochman, Booklist
Skipping Stones - Nina Murrary
"This is a story seeped in native traditions, and as Lori and Lana learn about their Indian ancestors, we learn to appreciate life and family."—Nina Murray, Skipping Stones
Publishers Weekly

Driving Hawk Sneve's unassuming yet potent chronicle of a fateful year in the lives of two preteen cousins follows the Lakota calendar observed by her characters, who according to Lakota tradition are sisters. Lori, the narrator, paints Lana as mischievous, often lazy and something of a show-off, but her admiration and envy also come through, and there's never any question that these two are the closest of friends. Lori and Lana's new, strong friendship with a third girl, a Hmong refugee, demonstrates the vitality of their own bond even as it allows the author to draw parallels between the Lakota and the Hmong. Throughout, the grandparents teach the "sisters" Lakota traditions and beliefs, prepare them for their naming ceremony-this proud, happy Native American community stands in stark contrast to the rez of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. Readers may not notice right away when chapter titles begin to deviate from the Lakota names for the months ("Moon When Winter Sets In") and reflect events important to the girls ("Moon of New Names"; "Moon of the Hats"), but these present an early clue to the calamitous, barely foreshadowed development at the end: Lana's cancer diagnosis. Rather than manipulate readers' emotions, the author uses the tragedy to underscore the value of tradition and community. Despite its tendency to tell instead of show, this novel repays readers with its portraits of the sisters and their living heritage. Ages 8-up. (Dec.)

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Children's Literature - Pat Sherman
Lori and Lana are cousins, and according to Lakota tradition they are also sisters. This relationship sometimes grates on Lori. As the elder, she is supposed to take care of Lana, but how can she do that when the brash, irrepressible Lana will not listen? Rather than leading, Lori often feels she is standing in Lana's shadow, yet Lana's impulsive nature also has its positive side. It is she who suggests drawing Lori's new friend Shoua, a Hmong immigrant, into their own family circle, making Shoua an adopted sister and member of the Lakota tribe. When Lori is stricken by illness, Lana finally realizes how much her cousin means to her and how much she will miss her when she is gone. Divided into chapters named after the twelve Lakota moons, this quiet book takes us through a year of growth, loss, and hope. Sneve, author of two previous books about the Lakota for young readers, weaves Lakota lore into a completely contemporary coming-of-age story. Though there are a few places where the character development seems a little weak, the language remains vivid and poetic. By the end of the story we have learned a great about Lakota culture and have come to like Lori and her extended family a great deal. Reviewer: Pat Sherman
KLIATT - Patricia Moore
This beautifully written short volume by an award-winning Lakota author tells a story of two modern day preteen Lakota cousins, Lana and Lori, their families and their growing up in the Lakota way. The story's organization is based on the 12 Lakota moons and told as the girls live through a year that brings them joy and sadness. An interesting angle is added when a Hmong family moves into their school district and their daughter, Shoua, is placed in Lori's class. The three girls develop a friendship and eventually the three families share their holidays and their cultures. Lori and Lana are high spirited, fun loving and usually at loggerheads. When Lana falls ill, is diagnosed with cancer and dies in the last of the 12 moons, the Moon of the Terrible, Lori is left to embrace the circle of life. Reviewer: Patricia Moore

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803260283
Publisher:
UNP - Bison Books
Publication date:
11/01/2007
Pages:
127
Sales rank:
1,326,822
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve is a well-known author of stories and essays about Native American life and culture and a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. She is the author of Grandpa Was a Cowboy and an Indian and Other Stories and The Trickster and the Troll, both available in Bison Books editions. Her memoir, Completing the Circle (Nebraska 1995) won the North American Indian Prose Award.

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Lana's Lakota Moons 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi. : )
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