Wind Catcher is my new fave book!
Have I got a great YA fantasy novel for you.
Let’s make this book count toward diversity because the heroine is Native American!
Many thanks to Novel Publicity Tour for sending me this great book.
It’s always great to meet children’s book authors. Working in a bookstore provides us with plenty of opportunities to interact with authors and to introduce kids to their favorite authors. As a bookseller (I told you I’m an Unconventional Librarian) working at an independent bookstore, it’s great when authors show us that they value the work we do as an independent bookstore.
What’s an independent bookstore, you ask? Well, it’s a bookstore that is NOT owned and operated by a big chain guy company like Barnes & Noble, Borders, or others. Independent bookstores, called Indies, for short, are owned by local people who live and work in the community where they provide service. Indies are great because I get to work where I live and see people and kids I know and provide PERSONAL suggestions based on their likes, needs, wants, whims, etc.
Authors like us too, because, well, we’re cool people who get super excited about books. Especially the ones that they write so, everyone wins! Because authors appreciate Indies, they invented this thing called Indies First where authors adopt an independent bookstore and work there for a few hours. This was Sherman Alexie’s baby.
Kate DiCamillo, author of Because of Winn Dixie, and the newly released Flora & Ulysses came up with Indies First Storytime, with KIDS in mind! Lots of authors agreed to do this because who doesn’t love kids??
My bookstore, Towne Book Center & Cafe (the place where I dress up in a tutu and tiara every weekend) hosted Adam Lehrhaupt, author of Warning; Do Not Open this book! The book is super fun and so is Adam. Take a look.
Adam is super cool and I gabbed his ear off for like ever! Check out his links and follow him and my bookstore(!) on Twitter. Here are the deets:
Towne Book Center https://twitter.com/TowneBookCenter
WARNING: you may see pics of my big ole head on the store’s twitterfeed.
Did you get to hear an Indies First author read? Who was it? Who would you LOVE to hear?
Wow, I don’t know where to begin when reviewing The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. I guess i should first say that overall it is a delightful story. I enjoyed the ending and of course the main character learned a valuable lesson about how to treat people of all sizes and races. That part of the lesson is priceless and worth repeating.
With that said, I am disappointed in the details of the story. I am unsure if the book is a product of the time period (80s) or of the author’s location (UK) or what, but the book is rife with Native American stereotypes. What is interesting about the book is that even though the character Little Bear speaks in stereotypical Indian language, the main character, Omri, is very sensitive to Little Bear’s cultural needs. It’s an interesting study in opposites. Little Bear speaks in clipped English sentences such as “I not small! You, big!” during an introductory conversation with Omri. To be sure, we will never really know how Native Americans spoke during that time period (pre 1800s) but I’m pretty sure that when learning a new language, Indians like Little Bear could use verbs, adverbs and adjectives. If you can learn the language, you can learn to speak it properly, right? And how is it that Little Bear can understand English?
I know that if Little Bear didn’t speak and understand English that there wouldn’t be a story, but if the two struggled to understand each other at first, the story might have been more believable and Little Bear’s stilted embryonic language structure would be more appropriate.
I know this story is popular with the younger set but I struggle to recommend it because of the stereotypes. As you can see from the last book I read about Native Americans, “Part time Indian”, Native Americans speak English very well.
This book is part of my YA 80s challenge, found here.