Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming: Stories and Poems by American Indian Teens and Young Adults

Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming: Stories and Poems by American Indian Teens and Young Adults

by Betsy Franco
     
 

The voices of fifty-seven young American Indians emerge in a powerful collection of original writing coedited by the anthologist of YOU HEAR ME? and THINGS I HAVE TO TELL YOU.

When the night isgone and the day isstill coming,we will be taken awayfrom this earth.We will be rising asthe next generationis coming.- from "Next Generations" by Marcia

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Overview

The voices of fifty-seven young American Indians emerge in a powerful collection of original writing coedited by the anthologist of YOU HEAR ME? and THINGS I HAVE TO TELL YOU.

When the night isgone and the day isstill coming,we will be taken awayfrom this earth.We will be rising asthe next generationis coming.- from "Next Generations" by Marcia Blacksmith, age thirteen, Crow, Lakot"pen this revelatory anthology of poetry, prose, and memoir and listen to the voices of today’s young American Indians, ages eleven to twenty-two, from many nations across the country: A young man pines for his "fry bread queen" in a comically honest take on unrequited love. Another teen tells of a "carbonation dance," his summer ritual of crushing returnable Coke cans with his grandfather. Some express typical teenage angst. Others share glimpses of their culture’s unique traditions and beliefs. And many speak of culture clash - such as the homesick "rez girl" riding the New York subway like a "Cochiti carrot in the huge ethnic salad." The chorus assembled between the covers of this essential book sings a song that transcends all borders, seen and unseen.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
A symphony of young Native American voices emerges in Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming: Stories and Poems by American Indian Teens and Young Adults, ed. by Annette Pi a Ochoa, Betsy Franco and Traci Gourdine, with an introduction by Simon Ortiz. Memories of the past, pictures of the present (in both natural and urban settings) and hopes for the future interweave in this moving volume that includes tribes from the Chippewa to the Navajo to the Mohegan to the Inuk. The search for an identity that connects to Native traditions informs many selections, as in these lines from the poem "Who Am I?": "Who am I?/ I hear tales of my ancestors/ I feel my chest fill with pride/ Knowing where I am from/ But/ I can never live as they did/ So my past is my past/ Who am I?" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The editors have collected a wonderful combination of well-written and thoughtful poems and short narratives by young people representing over 20 Native American tribes. Their choices range from pieces that discuss or describe cultural concerns or practices that have impacted the young authors' lives to the more general "day in my life" poems and narratives that adolescents enjoy producing. The various pieces deal with alcoholism, racism, family life, school pressures, dating, and simply growing up in America. What makes this collection important is the quality of the pieces. There are no "throwaways," and the astute secondary teacher could use this collection well with wonderful results, to encourage students to look into their own lives and consider how the cultural and the daily come together. I also found the acknowledgment section at the end of the book interesting in terms of how teachers in different parts of the country worked together to make this collection happen�making the book quite inspiring. Night is Gone, Day Is Still Coming should definitely have a place in teacher and school libraries as an important addition to any multicultural collection. 2003, Candlewick Press, Ages 12 up.
— Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
VOYA
This collection of stories, poems, and essays by fifty-seven young authors is a worthy companion to two previous anthologies, You Hear Me? Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys (Candlewick, 2000/VOYA December 2000) and Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls (2001/VOYA October 2001). The themes, not surprisingly, include poverty, alcoholism, life on the reservation, hope of escape, family heritage, and native cultural traditions. Not all of the pieces demonstrate the same level of writing competency, yet each contribution is framed by its writer's own situation-no other person could have expressed it just as he or she did. Eighteen-year-old Nakesha Bradley's work is among the strongest. In describing the "vodka summer" when she was eleven, she writes, "I secretly denied the heredity of alcoholism in my genes-braided, twisted, entwined, fused into my DNA. I cried, hoping it would drip away with my tears," and "The alcohol stained my sister's womb and you can smell the liquor on her son's breath." Although such imagery is not present in every piece, this unevenness does not diminish the powerful effect created by the collection as a whole. These words have not been heard before; the book provides a forum for voices that might otherwise have been suppressed. This reviewer's class of junior English students responded favorably to the material, as will many teenagers. Regardless of their interest in poetry, most teens will recognize the authentic and distinct perspective of the young Native Americans in this anthology. Appendix. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P J S (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9;Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Candlewick, 160p,
— Kim Zach
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Voices of young people caught between cultures, struggling with identity issues, and celebrating diversity ring throughout this powerful collection. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A diverse collection of excellent poems and stories offers readers insight into the experiences of contemporary young American Indians. The 80 selections, primarily poetry, are by writers from age 13 to 22, and were solicited from all over the country. Some have been published previously; all exhibit the talent of established or future writers. The selections vary widely in style, from Lateachia Pemma's rap-like "Mom's Fry Bread" ("The wait for Mom's fry bread is long / but it's worth it, when your mom's fry bread / is the Bomb!") to Sonia Manriquez imagistic "Dark Waters" ("When I look / into my grandmother's eyes / I see her standing / in a steam-filled kitchen / making tortillas / for twelve hungry mouths / as rivers of sweat / mixed with tears / fall down her face / when she realizes / she is all alone"). While details often mark these selections as "American Indian," at the heart of each piece is something else: the life experience that called each writer to write. This, above all else, is what makes the collection powerful, and is what will make it a welcome addition to any teen collection of writing anthologies. (Nonfiction. 12+)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763615185
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
07/15/2003
Series:
Betsy Franco Yas
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sam English, who created the cover image for NIGHT IS GONE, DAY IS STILL COMING, is an American Indian artist who believes that his role is to paint the contemporary Native American in a spiritual sense. Sam English has received numerous awards from Native American art shows around the country as well as some fifty commissions from tribal, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. In 1997, he was commissioned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to create a mural for the 1997 inauguration.

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