Sunday, July 28, 2013

Under the Ice by Rachel A. Qitsualik

What drew me in to read this story is that Ms. Qitsualik is sharing a tale from the Inuit people of the arctic.  Folk tales of other cultures have always fascinated me.  This story is very different from anything I've read before.

Inhabit Media and Net Galley allowed me to download this story and read it for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  This is written for those in the middle grades.

Grandmother is tired and hungry and has little patience for her grandchild.  He begs and begs for food, but it's winter and there is nothing to hunt and very little food remaining.  Everyone is hungry, not just him.  As he nags again, she gets angry and makes a wish that the qallupaluit would take him.  She's not serious, she's just angry.  But the underseas creatures hear her and claim the boy.

The illustrations show you first hand what the qallupaluit look like and I sure wouldn't want to be carted off by them!  The boy, however, is happy there.  He has plenty of food, they are good to him, and he enjoys playing with them.  When the hunters come to rescue him, he doesn't want to go back.

Eventually the hunters do capture him by using hunting skills to sneak up on him and they return him to camp.  He doesn't live with his grandmother, though, he lives with the man and woman who helped recover him.  There is no more said about grandma, but I'm sure she was remorseful for her angry words.

The illustrations really make this book stand out and I'm afraid I was rooting for the qallupaluit; I wanted them to keep him!  According to the tale, he became a great hunter.  Maybe he visited with the qallupaluit while he was hunting...

Happy reading.

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