Monday, February 10, 2014

Red Wolf by Jennifer Dance

He's a child in the Anishnaabek tribe.  Life has been good, his parents love him, and all is well.  Then the white man gets involved...

Dundurn and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published February 25th, so look for a copy then.

I'm familiar with our American Indian tribes and the wrongs done to them but knew nothing about Canada's history.  I even have Yakima Indian relatives.  They were just part of the family.  When I played with them as a child, I was always the Indian and they were always the Cowboys.  Our parents found that humorous.

It's disappointing to find that no matter where the Indians dwelled, they were treated badly.  Red Wolf is taken from his family and sent to a boarding school.  The people running the school were mean and abusive.  Red Wolf knew no English, so he was scorned.  They took away all the items that had meaning to him and burned them.  Soon he's alone with no friends and no family and in despair.  He's tough, though, and survives.

This is fiction based on fact and it reads like a history novel.  There is a lot of sadness and needless death in Red Wolf's life.  While written for middle graders, I found it very interesting.  The white man seems to put those he doesn't want around him in camps, reservations, internments, or the like all the time.  I was taught to embrace differences.  You learn more from those not like you than you do from carbon copies of you.  The world would be a better place if other people practiced that.

One thing that made me keep faith in Red Wolf was that he had a timber wolf for a pet and I knew the wolf would wait for him to return.  You can depend on animals even if you can't depend on people.

Happy reading.

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