Lana's Lakota Moonsby Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
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
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.
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.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
- UNP - Bison Books
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- 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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