The Canadian community in which Vince lives is divided into two parts: white and First Nation (Indian). The two groups do not mix, even on the ride to school each morning on the bus. This school year is starting out differently, though. Vince's childhood pal, Sherry, begins dating Steve, one of the First Nation students. And Vince notices that another native, Raedawn, is showing interest in him. With all of the previous animosity, how can any relationship between the two groups survive? Vince must find a way to bridge the divide. This fast moving, easy-to-read story does not delve deeply into the issue of racism, but it does let readers know that standing up for what one believes to be right is the correct thing to do. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Orca, 107p., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.
Teri S. Lesesne
There comes a point in every child's life when they realize they must stand on their own, make their own decisions, and choose to either break away from their parents' ideals or be ruled by their parents' thoughts for the rest of their lives. For Vince that moment came when he learned that his neighbor and best friend had befriended an Indian from the other side of the village. All of his life he had listened to his parents and had carefully observed the separation that existed between the whites and the Indians. But when an Indian girl starts smiling at him and waving to him, he begins to question what he has practiced all his life and what his parents have always told him. In only a matter of days, in the course of helping his friend cope with the problems she is facing when her parents find out about her Indian boyfriend, Vince realizes that what he has always believed no longer matters, and that it is not as frightening as he had imagined to stand up for something different. This coming-of-age novella is a quick read and offers just one example of the obstacles children face when they reach the cusp of adulthood. This title is part of the "Orca Soundings" series. 2005, Orca Book Publishers, Ages 13 to 15.
"[Sylvia Olsen] knows what it is like to walk the line between white and Indian culture, and she is fair in her presentation of those on both sides of the line. Worth acquiring for any senior high school library collection. Recommended."
Hip Librarian's Book Blog
“The author effectively writes scenes that leave the reader squirming for a positive resolution, and shine a light on intolerance and stereotypes. Kudos for addressing tough issues in an accessible manner.”
Read an Excerpt
Where I come from, kids are divided into two groups. White kids on one side, Indiands, or First Nations, on the other. Sides of the room, sides of the field, the smoking pit, the hallway, the washrooms; you name it. We're on one side and they're on the other. They live on one side of the Forks River bridge, and we live on the other side. They hang out in their village, and we hang out in ours.