Monday, August 17, 2009

My latest "read" has been "A Yellow Raft in Blue Water" by Michael Dorris. This is a story of three generations of a Native American family. The three narrators are all women: Rayona, the teenage grandaughter, her mother Christine, and "Aunt Ida" who raised Christine on an Indian Reservation in Montana. I listened to the audio version of this book and the narration was exceptional! Each character's voice was vivid and real through both the language of the author and the pitch and intonations of the audio narrator.
I also read that the author, Michael Dorris, is married to a leading author of Native American literature for young people, Louise Erdrich. Erdrich has written several notable books that have received acclaim from School Library Journal and Horn Book reviewers. Her books have also won the praise of thoughtful and intelligent boys and girls who have enjoyed learning through the eyes of her believable characters. Some that I've read and recommended to 4-8 grade students include The Birchbark House, Game of Silence, and The Painted Drum. I haven't had a chance to read The Porcupine Year, which continues the tale of Omakayas, an Ojibwe girl, and her tribe. I hpoe to get a copy sometime soon!


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