The Storyteller's Bracelet

Overview

It is the late 1800s, and the U.S. Government has mandated native tribes send their youth to Indian schools where they are stripped of their native heritage by the people they think of as The Others.

Otter and Sun Song are deeply in love, but when they are sent East to school, Otter, renamed Gideon, tries to adapt, where Sun Song does not, enduring brutal attacks from the school headmaster because of her refusal to so much as speak.

Gideon, ...

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Overview

It is the late 1800s, and the U.S. Government has mandated native tribes send their youth to Indian schools where they are stripped of their native heritage by the people they think of as The Others.

Otter and Sun Song are deeply in love, but when they are sent East to school, Otter, renamed Gideon, tries to adapt, where Sun Song does not, enduring brutal attacks from the school headmaster because of her refusal to so much as speak.

Gideon, thinking Sun Song has spurned him, turns for comfort to Wendy Thatcher, the daughter of a wealthy school patron, beginning a forbidden affair of the heart. But the Spirits have different plans for Gideon and Sun Song. They speak to Gideon through his magical storyteller's bracelet, showing him both his past and his future. You are both child and mother of The Original People, Sun Song is told. When it is right, you will be safe once more.

Will Gideon become Otter once again and return to Sun Song and his tribal roots, or attempt to remain with Wendy, with whom he can have no future?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935407461
  • Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 16, 2012

    A Story that Transcends Time and Space

    The Storyteller’s Bracelet takes the best of the creation stories of Native Americans and weaves them together into a tale offering a new universal truth. It is insightful and poignant, telling the story of the harsh realities of the Indian Schools of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    The Storyteller’s Bracelet is the story of Otter and Sun Song, two members of the tribe who are deeply in love and who are being sent east to the Indian Schools. Neither one of them wants to go, they are both nearly adults and all they want to do is turn eighteen so they can be married. Sun Song’s father is making her go East, just like he did to her brother before her. Sun Song does not care for the man her brother has become since he returned from school.

    Otter has always been away from the village when the white people come to collect the students to take back East, but this time there has been a protest made to his father about how he hides his son away like a pup in a den. This time there is no way his father can prevent it, Otter is going east too.

    Arriving at the school the students are made to get rid of anything of Indian origin, including their clothes and shoes. The boys’ hair is cut – something the members of the Tribe never do unless they are in mourning. Their hair is bathed in kerosene to get rid of nonexistent lice and they are humiliated. They are told they are to speak only in English from now on and not in their own language. They are assigned English names. Sun Song refuses to say hers and in fact will face great difficulty ever speaking to people again, she does however remember the ways of her people and at night, she sneaks out a window and talks to the Grandmother Sycamore tree.

    Otter has been given the name Gideon and he excels at school. The boys and girls are kept strictly separated at the school, still, he does not understand why Sun Song will not look his way, or answer the letters he sneaks to her. Rejected, heartbroken he finds comfort in the arms of a twenty-year-old white girl named Wendy. Alone, abandoned, Sun Song finds nothing but trouble and grief. Yet a plan has been made for Sun Song, and for Otter too, if he can find his way back to his Indian roots. A plan that will change things forever across three different worlds.

    Smoky Trudeau Zeidel breathes life into these characters and those they encounter. She shows the existence of some people who truly care about the Indians and the existence of the majority who look down on them. She paints the difficulties of their lives so far away from all they know and love, subjected to scorn, inhumanity and illnesses that they simply can’t fight off. She makes your heart ache for both Sun Song and Otter as they are caught in a world that is changing to quickly for their people to keep up, if they even want to.

    Zeidel’s plotting is superb easily keeping track of the various storylines in the novel and making each of them active, powerful and believable. I love that Zeidel, at least in the context of the novel believes in magic and the unusual ways it can interact with circumstances in the characters’ lives. I like that she makes it mystical and powerful without overwhelming anyone with dogma. I like the way the main storyline is developed bit-by-bit begin

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