Abandoned by her white father, thirteen-year-old Red Dove faces another lean winter with her Lakota family on the Great Plains. Willful and proud, she is presented with a stark choice: leave her people to live in the white world, or stay and watch them starve. Red Dove begins a journey to find her place in the world and discovers that her greatest power comes from within herself.
|Publisher:||Red Chair Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||9 - 10 Years|
About the Author
Of Swiss, British, and Syro-Lebanese ancestry, Sonia Antaki was born in Egypt. She's spent her adult life as a performer, a financial analyst, and a Tony-nominated Broadway producer. She lives with her dog in California.
Andrew Bosley is a concept artist specializing in illustration for gaming and animation. He earned a BFA from San Jose State University and lives and now works in Arizona.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
*Book received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* This was a book that hit a lot of hight points on my list. It's diverse, it's culturally accurate, it's historically accurate, and it's been reviewed by sensitivity readers who actually know what to look for. It's age-appropriate for the juvenile/middle grade fiction category and is also written really well. The illustrations were also very nice and added to the story in such a positive way.
This book was confusing to me. What I thought would be historical fiction turned out to have elements of fantasy, which when introduced to the story took me out of the experience (i.e. the pouch Red Dove's grandfather gives to her that allows her to know what other people are thinking, feeling, and translates languages for her). It is true I do not know if powers like these were common or not in that culture, but it seems very far-fetched that all Red Dove has to do is touch a pouch, and then she understands another language perfectly. Furthermore, we are told in the blurb that Red Dove is thirteen, but when the story begins she seems like a much younger character, possibly aged nine. It is not until halfway through the story that I believe based on her thoughts and actions that she is at least thirteen years old. There are also unnecessary point-of-view switches, from third person to first person and back again, multiple times. These switches are very distracting. What I liked about the story was the message. A young girl of mixed race trying to find her place in the world because she feels as if she doesn't belong to one group or the other is very relevant. I like that she intends to find her happiness and her place by helping others. The illustrations were beautiful and added to the story. Overall, I thought the bones of this book were great, but the execution needs some cleaning up. *I received an eARC from the publisher and Netgalley back in May of this year. Thanks! Hopefully some of these issues (especially the POV changes) were resolved, but I won't know until seeing a finished copy. All opinions are my own.*
Thank you to NetGalley, Sonia Antaki, and One Elm Books (an imprint of Red Chair Press) for the opportunity to read Red Dove, Listen to the Wind in exchange for an honest review. My initial interest in this book comes from my own heritage. I am 1/8 Paiute-Shoshone (yeah, yeah, 1/8 isn't much), but it is that 1/8, and growing up in a heavily populated Paiute area, that developed my interest in Native American culture, history, and mythology. I could tell from the description that this would definitely be a fantastic book that would resonate with the struggles that Native Americans face in the early history of the United States, as well as with conflicts still occurring today. Red Dove is of the Lakota, a Native American tribe that migrates around the Great Plains area of the U.S. Born to a white father and Lakota mother, Red Dove has never quite fit in among either world. She is ridiculed by her fellow Lakota people for her light-colored eyes, yet her heritage and knowledge is that of the Lakota. She is even a better hunter than her brother, Walks Alone, but women aren't hunters! When she is taken to a school to learn the language and ways of the wasichu (white man) to help feed her family and save them from the harsh winter, she experiences the first-hand racism that the wasichu present toward Red Dove's people. Of course, not all wasichu are like that. Her experience with the nuns of the school, imposing Christian ways on Red Dove as well as forbidding her from speaking her language or divulging in her cultural norms, is less than human. This event in the novel reflects what has happened to most Native American tribes across the country: a loss of their tradition and language because of this forceful "education." Red Dove has a special pouch that is invisible to those who are "unworthy" of its power. It allows her to understand English and see/share visions and experiences with others. With the pouch, she is able to show some of the white men and nuns, among others, the pain that they have caused or are causing the Lakota people. When a massacre somehow seems necessary and many of Red Dove's people are killed and wiped out, the morality behind this reflection of true events really hits the pathos with the reader. I love how educational this book is. It's authentic to the Lakota history and is a great way to share these experiences with young readers today who may not know or understand this aspect of American history. There is also a Lakota dictionary in the back of the book that defines the many Lakota words used throughout the novel. A quick, easy, serious but fun read that I would recommend bringing into the classroom!