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Children's LiteratureMinik is a 12 year-old Inuit girl living with her father, Imak, and grandmother, Ashoona, in the nineteenth century. She has a strong connection to ancient beliefs about the spirit world as does her promised young husband-to-be, Sculpin. As shape shifters they often take the form of animals in order to learn their ways. "My soul has a life of its own, Grandmother. My soul shares breath with the sea wind, the seabirds of the air." Dewey writes this fictional story as a tribute to her own life-long fascination and sense of connection to the Inuit people. Her extensive library of first edition books about the people of the Arctic provides documentation for a time when missionaries traveled north to spread Christianity. Through the dialog of everyday life, she reveals rich truths about a people able to endure the harsh environment, but not the contamination of the European way of life. In this story the Dog Children, the "ones who change nature" bring about a clash of culture when they come ashore with their whaling party. They leave behind the man-woman priest that Minik comes to call Longskirt. This frank look at the end of innocence for both Minik and her world is an educational catalyst for open discussion between parent and child and should provide the impetus for classroom directed research. 2003, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 8 to 12.
— Francine Thomas