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Children's LiteratureAuthor of nonfiction and historical fiction, Kathleen Kudlinski explores the story of Pocahontas in this novel. Daughter of the powerful chief of the Powhatan Confederacy, Pocahontas, whose real name is Matoaka, is sent with a party of emissaries to find out what she can about the strangers who have settled Jamestown. But Pocahontas dreams of conversing with the strangers and, in time, bridging the gap between their two worlds. The ensuing conflicts that end up taking this visionary yet tragic character far from her home are revealed to readers through the perceptions of a fictional character. Neetah, this viewpoint figure, is a Pamunkey friend and companion to Pocahontas. Pocahontas is depicted as strong and heroic, her decisions driven by her internal struggle as well as the cultural conflicts in which she is caught up. In this, it is just as well that Kudlinski's Pocahontas is more akin to Paula Gunn Allen's than to Disney's. It should be noted that the part of all this that is commonly taken to be history is possibly a myth. The rescue of a heroic John Smith by a Native woman is a story that the present-day Powhatan Renape Nation has gone on record to counter. Of course it is all about perspective, since little documentation exists about the real Pocahontas' life. Also interspersed here are rather simplistic representations of Powhatan and related beliefs, replete with suggestions of angry gods and powerful priests-terms that sit awkwardly on the indigenous sensibilities of the characters, bringing to mind a long Eurocentric tradition of rendering otherness as exotic. An afterword, author's note, glossary, and selected reading list are included. 2006, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 10 to14.