Kantner, Seth. Ordinary Wolves. Milkweed, 2005. ISBN 978-1571310477 344 pp. $16
Meet a boy, Cutuk, who has grown up in the Alaskan wilderness with his Dad in an igloo living in the traditional way of the Inuit People. Despite Cutuk’s white skin, he’s more Inuit than the majority of native people that live in the village near his wilderness igloo home. As a young adult he goes to Anchorage to work. Fitting in there is difficult. His connection to the land and the snow and ice and the wolves lives deep inside of him. The waste and ruination of land that he sees in Anchorage is appalling. This coming of age novel is a slow read, but in a good way. The main character is a thinker and I found that I was doing as much soul searching within myself as Cutuk did trying to find his own way in the world.
Mikaelsen, Ben. Tree Girl. Harper Teen, 2005 (reprint). ISBN 978-0060090067 pp. $10.99
Tree Girl has always loved climbing trees. Her mother encouraged her to do so because the higher she was in a tree, the closer she was to heaven. Her Dad’s advice was to always be prepared for change because that’s what life is. Well, when the soldiers in Guatemala start murdering the native Indio people, Tree Girl begins to see her entire life change. On the night of her Quinceanera, her fifteenth birthday, things begin to change and her simple village life with her close family will never be the same again.
Soon after, Tree Girl witnesses an entire village murdered while she perches in the highest branches of a tree for two days straight. This novel is based on the true story of a young woman from Guatemala. Mikaelsen met this girl, heard her story and wrote it as fiction. It is a powerful story about courage, hope and survival.
Lawrence, Michael. Crack in the Line. Harper Teen, 2005. ISBN 978-0060724771 336 pp. $
Alternate realities. Time travel. A fatal train accident. A batty old Aunt with a lot more wisdom than anyone will give her credit for. Alaric and Naia find each other when Alaric travels through a decorative folly to Naia’s home. Their homes are identical and their lives are close to identical, except for some small, and some huge differences.