Wheezer And the Painted Frog

Wheezer And the Painted Frog

by Kitty Sutton
4.8 9

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Wheezer and the Painted Frog: Mysteries from the Trail of Tears 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Wistfulskimmie More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Sasa, a young Cherokee girl and a Jack Russell called Wheezer. Sasa's brother has been murdered and her Cherokee people are not getting the food and provisions they desperately need. Can Sasa and Wheezer get to the bottom of the mystery and solve it? This was a story steeped in history. Based on the Cherokee 'Trail of Tears', where they were moved from their land and made to settle elsewhere, with many Cherokees dying along the way. While this was at it's heart a murder mystery, you could feel the history seeping out of every word. Having 5 principal characters, Wheezer/Jack the Jack Russell, Sasa, Jackson, Arch and Anna - the story focussed on the dwindling supplies for the Cherokee settlers and the murder of Sasa's brother Usti Yansa. The story went along at a fair clip and the descriptions were so vivid, I felt I was there walking in their shoes. I loved the inclusion of Wheezer as a main character. Who couldn't fail to be drawn to a book with a dog as one of the principal players? I understand this is Kitty's debut novel-well it had me gripped to the end and I even shed a tear at the conclusion. Well done Kitty, I am anxiously waiting for the follow up!
Laurie-J More than 1 year ago
Wow! I loved this book! Narrated in an understated, almost journalistic-like, prose, this book packed one heck of a punch. Told from the perspective of a young Cherokee girl, and obviously lovingly researched, this book evoked intense emotion in me. The terrible march to Oklahoma “Indian Territory” on the Trail of Tears was only the beginning of the brutal hardships these displaced people endured. The book focuses around a mystery. When her healthy five-year-old brother inexplicably weakens then dies, Sasa must find out why. All alone, grieving, she finds a little dog. The dog has been bitten by a snake and is barely alive. Sasa rescues the pooch and soon falls in love with the rascal. Wheezer becomes Sasa’s stalwart protector as she begins to enlist the help of others. When the dog’s owner traces him to the Indian settlement, he too, finds out that not all is as it seems. The rations and commodities intended for the Indians are not arriving. As Jackson investigates, he and Sasa help each other, and Wheezer’s loyalties are divided between Sasa and Jackson. This is a moving story that instantly captured my heart. Never verbose or preachy, this tale flawlessly captured the flavor of the West, and the bigotry of the times. Yet, it is written in an inherently upbeat style that had me cheering for the good guys, and booing at the no-good, low-down, greedy bad guys. I also cheered for Wheezer, my favorite character. This book is the first in a planned series of mysteries. I am looking forward to the next one by this talented new author. This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review. I am not a personal friend this author. Reviewed by Laurie
kebs More than 1 year ago
Before I moved to western North Carolina, I'd never heard of the Trail of Tears. Now, living here, I've become well acquainted with the Cherokee history of NC, GA and TN, as well as the infamous genocide that the Trail of Tears really was. I didn't realize, though, what happened to the survivors of the march, but the story of Sasa, Wheezer, Jackson and the other characters kept me turning the page while learning about it. It was obvious that Ms. Sutton had done her homework, and the result, I feel, is an important history lesson that is presented in a very good story. I can see it being used as a teaching tool for both the Eastern Band of Cherokee as well as the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. I'm very much looking forward to Ms. Sutton's next book.
alexcanton-dutari More than 1 year ago
I'm always partial -- positively -- to Native American literature, and hurt throughout the discription of the displacement of this proud group, a voyage which was poignantly described by the author. But I must say that the inclusion of Wheezer, the brave and feisty Jack Russell, was a unique move to maintain the reader identified with the plights in the story. The partnership of Sasa and Wheezer, together with an easy narrative makes this portion of US history food for thought
Annarita55 More than 1 year ago
I approached this book with happy trepidation, because it was carrying me back to a genre I had loved as a child and as a teenager, the one I had grown up with and then I had been forced to leave behind because there weren¿t any good western books to read any more. And it did not fail me. I realize, however, that defining it just a ¿western¿ is highly reductive, for ¿Wheezer¿ is much more than that, and can be read on different levels, by people with different interest. It is, first and foremost, a historical book, looking into one of the most sorrowful pages of the Native Americans¿ history, the ¿Trail where They Cried¿, the forced migration of the Cherokee tribe from their native land to the arid Territory of Oklahoma. Kitty Sutton has manage to paint the odyssey, the agony of a people with just a few words here and there, never getting boring (as historical books could be) and always touching the heart of the reader. Then there is Wheezer himself¿ any reader who loves animals in general and dogs in particular cannot help but being captivated by this small, extremely clever dog, who¿s a sort of ¿deus ex machina¿ throughout the novel. He¿s so cute, so brave, so clever, you¿ll never have enough of him, you¿ll wish to read more about him. And the other characters, from Jackson Halley to the little, brave Cherokee girl Sasa, to all the other minor characters, are unforgettable too. Kitty has a way of making them come to life with her words so that the reader can actually ¿see¿ them and share their emotions, their despair, their pride, their happiness. And then there is the ¿western atmosphere¿ proper, the landscape, the wide spaces, the forest and the arid plains, all brought to life in such way the reader cannot help but feel transported in another land and in another time. As I said at the beginning, this book brought me back to the love of my childhood and youth, and I must say that reading Wheezer¿s story, the Cherokee people story, Sasa¿s story, captivated me as much as the best novels by Zane Grey and Louis L¿Amour managed to do so many years ago. I definitely recommend reading this book. You¿ll feel the richer for it
OwlHollowBooks More than 1 year ago
Review by Zona Crabtree (Owl Hollow Books) Many stories deal with the forced removal of America's native people from their ancestral lands. Most the stories of The Trail of Tears are about the people as a whole. In Wheezer and the Painted Frog, Kitty Sutton delves into the individual lives of a lost dog, his white owner, and a young Cherokee girl and her people. Wheezer, a frightened, lost dog, leads the reader into a tangled mystery. After losing all her family on the trek to the area known as Indian Territory, Sasa finds herself caught in the midst of sickness and starvation of her people brought on by a corrupt agent. When she finds Wheezer and nurses him back to health, she senses the dog possesses special abilities and is there to help her. Sasa encounters threats to her life every direction she turns. Wheezer protects her as best he can, but they are no match for the corrupt agent. When Wheezer's white owner arrives and realizes the Cherokees are not receiving the food and shelter promised, the danger intensifies as he investigates the chain of delivery. What is the painted frog everyone is searching for, and how does it pertain to the attempted murders? Kitty Sutton spins an intriguing mystery about the Trail of Tears from an unusual viewpoint. Her writing is unique in that the reader can experience each character's story from the character's own level. The technique creates strong characters that draw the reader into the mystery as it develops. Kitty Sutton captures the spirit of the Cherokee people as she brings each character to life. I look forward to more of this intense type of character portrayal. Wado, Kitty Sutton.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
REVIEW: "Wheezer and the Painted Frog" by Kitty Sutton I would like to get the meat of this review out first. This is a five star read that could interest several age groups and interests. The character development is complete and it is easy to like the good ones and hate the bad. It addresses that "skeleton in the closet" that we as Americans seem to like to keep buried. It is one of the darkest secrets that taints the American legacy. The white man's treatment of the First Nation would be looked at today as a good reason to defend the Indian Nation with "Shock and Awe" as we did in Iraq for much the same crimes. What we do instead is turn our heads to avoid the view. Kitty has researched details that we have not heard much about. I think it is common knowledge of the basic facts of the "Trail of Tears" but to hear the numbers and feel the devastation that this caused to an entire culture is shocking. To know that these men of greed and wealth would prey upon them in this weakened state is despicable. To kill or cause the death of women, children, aged and infirm is criminal. The only reason it was not in this time is that it was done by the wealthy and the government. I imagine that if a country was acting this way in today's world we would seek criminal charges and execution of those involved up to and including the highest ranking and the wealthy.  This story is one that we should look to and learn how we should go forward in our lives. Even the young girl, Sasa, learned through her grief and her community what is right and wrong. She did not focus on it and use it as an excuse to live a lesser life. She followed her tradition and customs and made the best of the evil that was put into her life by others.  Wheezer is a dog. In this story he has human like intelligence and morals. There is much to be learned from a simple animal that demonstrates that we have drifted a long way from our own morals on the current of greed and power.  Jackson and his father bring the white man's viewpoint to the story. There are those who got it right. The other white characters are the villains and rightfully so.  The First Nation was mostly peaceful. Their internal wars were generally for survival or territory. The act of removing the basic elements of life from any community and watching them starve, die of illness and in the weather is nothing short of genocide and our government at its highest ranks were guilty of this systematic murder plot against the Indiana Nations. I personally feel ashamed of our country in their lies, fraudulent dealings and lack of human rights that they committed against the First inhabitants of this continent. They had a system called "Counting Coup" The warrior was rewarded for showing bravery simply by touching or striking his enemy in a brave way. It did not require death. Death was a part of war however. I have included a section from "The Encyclopedia of the Great Plains" on the subject.  I believe that our country lost one of the greater opportunities since its existence to learn from the Indian culture. They have a structured lifestyle that includes all things that we strive for but fall short of in our own government. Their environmental intelligence, moral structures, before alcohol was introduced into their midst, and spiritual ideas would greatly reduce the problems that all cultures face today. Indeed much of the family crisis of today is addressed in Native life. The First Nation has not marched or demanded things from the government. They have quietly made do with what they are given. Much is made of slavery in the south. It too is an abomination. The forced removal of peaceful and prosperous Indian communities and the death of so much of their culture was and is a much more heinous situation. There were many ways to come into slavery and not all of them by kidnapping. Even then the goal of slavery was not to obliterate those subjected to this institution. In essence the owner of slaves prospered by keeping the slave healthy and able to work even to have children and propagate their holdings. The First Nation was targeted for annihilation by the White Man and the government with the goal of removing the culture from existence. Those that were not killed were forced on a reservation and into "Missionary Schools" that taught Christianity and forced those that survived to abandon their spiritual beliefs and lifestyle that was judged to be uncivil. The White Man's lifestyle, while proving to be the must uncivil of all, was forced upon them to tame the "savages!" Since most tribes did not write their stories, dances or medicine much of this was lost to their culture and history if there were not a chain of ancestry that passed it forward.  As I study the First Nation and the tribes I find myself wishing that this was the system that we lived under now. Keep writing these stories Kitty, who knows maybe our government officials will read them and learn how we should all act. COUNTING COUP   A depiction of counting coup Counting coup, or striking an enemy, was the highest honor earned by warriors participating in the intertribal wars of the Great Plains. Native peoples recognized precise systems of graduated war honors, and usually the greatest exploit was counting coup. Key to a man's success in Plains combat was demonstrating his own courage by proving superiority over his opponent and, in a competitive sense, over his own comrades. Killing was part of war, but showing courage in the process was more important for individual status. This was best accomplished by risking one's life in charging the enemy on foot or horseback to get close enough to touch or strike him with the hand, a weapon, or a "coupstick." Humiliating the enemy also played a part in this fighting, as illustrated by an account from the Jesuit missionary Father Pierre-Jean De Smet. In De Smet's 1848 visit to the Oglala Lakotas, the Oglala leader Red Fish related to the priest how his men had just suffered a disgraceful defeat at the hands of the Crows. The Crows killed ten Oglalas, then chased the others for a distance. The Crows then were content merely to repeatedly count coup on their enemies with clubs and sticks, thus demonstrating to the Oglalas that they were not worth the ammunition needed to kill them. Counting coup carried over into the battles against American troops. For example, the Northern Cheyenne warrior Wooden Leg related how, as a young man at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, he and his friend Little Bird chased a soldier across the river, counting coup on him with their whips and grabbing his carbine. They did not kill him, said Wooden Leg, because after counting coup it did not seem particularly brave, and besides, it would waste bullets. Counting coup, then, was the epitome of a type of warfare that pitted the skill and daring of one man against another.
candyittle More than 1 year ago
*NOTE* I was given a copy for an honest and truthful review. What a great and sad tale to tell. Although it was heartbreaking knowing The Trail of Tears really happened, and it made me feel guilty to know that my ancestors had a part in this tragedy, I also felt relieved to see how Jackson and other white men tried to help. Kitty Sutton writes with knowledge that pulls at your heartstrings. How can you not love a story that has a cute but brave dog (Wheezer), action, romance and an ending that made me cry. This book has it all.   
Greta_Burroughs More than 1 year ago
Kitty Sutton asked me to read and review "Wheezer and the Painted Frog" and I gladly accepted her request. This book has been out for a while and I have been wanting to read it but just haven't taken the time to do it. I'm sorry I didn't read the book sooner. What a captivating tale! My reaction to "Wheezer and the Painted Frog" was two-fold. First,the story had my interest from the very first page. Ms Sutton is a wonderful story teller who crafted an enchanting mystery with bits of history mixed in. Her characters are well developed with a mix of people you either love or hate. I am partial to dogs, so having Wheezer as one of the heroes made the story complete. Secondly, I am familiar with the Trail of Tears and the terrible treatment of the native Americans by the white man. Reading about Wheezer, Sasha and Jackson's quest to fight the wrong doings and get to the truth of why Sasha's little brother was murdered helps me to remember that there are good people in this world who believe in what's right and do whatever they can to overcome the odds against them. I highly recommend this book to everyone, young and old.