Sweetgrass Basketby Marlene Carvell
In prose poetry and alternating voices, Marlene Carvell weaves a heartbreakingly beautiful story based on the real-life experiences of Native American children. Mattie and Sarah are two Mohawk sisters who are sent to an off-reservation school after the death of their mother. Subject to intimidation and corporal punishment, with little hope of contact with their father, the girls are taught menial tasks to prepare them for life as domestics. How Mattie and Sarah protect their culture, memories of their family life, and their love for each other makes for a powerful, unforgettable historical novel.
Valerie O. Patterson
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Marlene Carvell is an author and former teacher from New York State.
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I never knew about the industrial schools where Native American children were sometimes sent. It was enlightening to learn about these schools through these two sisters. It makes me sad to think that children like them were taken from their families sometimes forever.
The style of writing Carvell uses to characterize these little Indian girls absolutely grabbed my attention. I could not put down the book! I recommend this book to all ages, especially those who are interested in the way people lived their lives in the past from a different cultural background!