Posted in Chapter/Picture Book Feature, IndigAThon2020

Review: Sweetest Kulu

Sweetest Kulu

Summary

“Dream a little, Kulu, this world now sings a most beautiful song of you.”

This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.

Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little Kulu; an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.

Review

A friend of mine just had a baby, and she’s getting this as a gift. I’ve listened to some of Celina Kalluk throat singing as part of my IndigAThon challenge, I haven’t heard her speak, but her singing is so magical that you could just almost imagine this this book sung.

Though the illustrator wasn’t Indigenous I loved their style and though I’ve never been to the Artic it brought the place and the animals to life for me.

Total 5/5.

Image by Наталья Коллегова from Pixabay

Posted in IndigAThon2020

IndigAThon Update

I read 6 books for Indigathon, most of them were picture books because honestly I couldn’t find that many stories about Indigenous people that were actually written by Indigenous people. This is all the more reason I’m looking forward to The Fire Keepers Daughter because I can wait to see more #OwnVoice middle grade and YA fiction. Another part of what I had available to read was the pandemic, some things I wanted to get like Indian No More, weren’t available as eBooks and I don’t have a way to get to the library. Reviews of what I did get a chance to read as well as me looking out for more Indigenous content will be soon to follow this post.

Something I also noticed when reading books that while the authors were Indigenous the illustrators weren’t. I’d love to see more work from Indigenous illustrators, I’ll have to look around on Twitter for picture book illustrators.

Image by vek0 from Pixabay

Posted in IndigAThon2020, Reviews

I Can Make This Promise Review

My first book finished for #IndiAThon, I’m already learning a bunch. This book felt especially personal because I’ve spent time in the region where it was set.

I Can Make This Promise

Summary

Edie has spent her whole life knowing her mom was adopted by a white couple. She may be curious about her Native American heritage but Edie doubts her family has any answers. She spend some time on a reservation setting off fireworks ( since they are illegal in Seattle). She meets a boy who instantly knows she’s Native and she starts to question her own status, when she questions her mom on Native things she seems to clam up.

There don’t seem to be any answers until the day she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic. There are letter, signed “Love, Edith” pictures of a woman that looks just like Edie, and the letters tell a story of a story more complex than Edie could have ever dreamed.

But her mother and father have have kept this secret from her all her life. Could she be part of a Native family and not know it? How can she trust them to tell her the truth now, with the help from another supptotive family member she gets the fully story of her mothers past, victories and sorrows.

She also learns a lot about the meaning of coming home.

Review

Edie is a wonderful character who really breathes life into this novel. But so is Edith with her letter and photos, she gives a powerful portrait of the past and her attempt to change things. Edie mother’s life is an example of the lack of power Native peoples still didn’t have over their own children, The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978! 1978! Was passed to give native people’s more power over their children’s lives but still sadly there are still many cases. I can’t believe I’d never seriously heard about the law before this book. I plan to read more about it as well as the tribes mentioned towards the end of the book.

Amazon: I Can Make This Promise

Image by thomastwcom from Pixabay

Posted in Challenges, IndigAThon2020, TBR

#IndigAThon TBR

I’m including some of the books I want to read for #IndigAThon.

Sweetest Kulu (Other than US)

Dream a little, Kulu, this world now sings a most beautiful song of you.”

This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.

Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little Kulu; an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.

Written by renowned Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, (serious listen to her singing it’s beautiful and can be found here)

Amazon: Sweet Kulu

Hearts Unbroken (Middle Grade)

Hearts Unbroken by [Cynthia Leitich Smith]

When Louise Wolfe’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. It’s her senior year, anyway, and she’d rather spend her time with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper. The editors pair her up with Joey Kairouz, the ambitious new photojournalist, and in no time the paper’s staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. From the newly formed Parents Against Revisionist Theater to anonymous threats, long-held prejudices are being laid bare and hostilities are spreading against teachers, parents, and students — especially the cast members at the center of the controversy, including Lou’s little brother, who’s playing the Tin Man. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey — but as she’s learned, “dating while Native” can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey’s?

Amazon: Hearts Unbroken

I Can Make this Promise (Other than 5CT)

All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn’t have any answers.

Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic—a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith,” and photos of a woman who looks just like her.

Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now?

Christine Day is an enrolled citizen of the Upper Skagit tribe. Her mother is of Upper Skagit and Nooksack descent, and her father is of Northern European (mostly Norwegian) descent.

Amazon: I Can Make This Promise

Elatsoe (Free Space)

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

Darcie Little Badger is an Lipan Apache, and she develops her stories with Apache characters and themes. She is also an extraordinary debut talent in the world of speculative fiction We have paired her with her artistic match, illustrator Rovina Cai. This is a book singular in feeling and beauty.

Amazon: Elatsoe

These are just some of my picks. If you are thinking about taking part, what are you thinking of reading?

Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

Posted in Challenges, IndigAThon2020

#IndigAThon

I’ve always wanted to make more time for indigenous voices on this blog but didn’t want my effort to feel like a throwaway. I finally found something I really like and I think will help me include indigenous content more. I’m doing #IndigAThon. IndigAThon will run from November 1 to November 30 to coincide with Native American Heritage Month!

The goal is to read from Indigenous authors all across the Americas. More information can be found on their twitter @IndigAThon. While I’m going to try to do most of the prompts I’m here to tell you now I’m really not a buddy or group reader so I might just put extra book or two on for that. I’ve already found a couple of ideas for non book media so I’m looking forward to that.

A white bingo board with a yellow border on a red and turquoise background: IndigAThon 2020: Intersectionality, New To You, Other Than 5CT, Middle Grade, Free Space, Buddy Read, Other Than US, Group Book, Non-Bookish Media.

Image by Vincent Ciro from Pixabay