Rosanne Parry author of Heart of a Shepherd, shines a light on Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest in the 1920s, a time of critical cultural upheaval.
Pearl has always dreamed of hunting whales, just like her father. Of taking to the sea in their eight-man canoe, standing at the prow with a harpoon, and waiting for a whale to lift its barnacle-speckled head as it offers its life for the life of the tribe. But now that can never be. Pearl's father was lost on the last hunt, and the whales hide from the great steam-powered ships carrying harpoon cannons, which harvest not one but dozens of whales from the ocean. With the whales gone, Pearl's people, the Makah, struggle to survive as Pearl searches for ways to preserve their stories and skills.
I read an e-ARC of this title
Strengths: Excellent cultural information about the Makah Indians, strong character development, good suspense, good action. I really enjoyed this story and there is such a need for good Native American literature that I'm extremely pleased to ahve this book. The book also has a downloadable curriculum packet developed by the good folks at Random House.
Weaknesses: This is not a weakness of the book, but unfortunately students in my district study Native Americans a third grade and for most of those students this book will not work for them. Perhaps as a read-aloud it could work, but even still I think it would be better at a fifth grade level or up.