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Thunder on the Plains

Reading Level: 4.5

“Get on the phone and call them all to a meeting for next Saturday afternoon,” Danny Wind said to his friend Crow. “We’re going to rescue us some buffalo.” He could hardly believe what he was saying. “But don’t tell anyone else. It’s our little secret for now.”

After two years, middle-school student Danny Wind is still not over his father’s death. When his mom marries a white man and they move to a new “white bread” neighborhood, Danny’s life changes for the worse. The school principal considers him a troublemaker, and he has to avoid Willy, the school bully, who calls him “redskin” and “Tonto.” After he acts out and gets suspended from school, Danny’s mom decides to send him to a summer survival camp for American Indian teens on the reservation where his father grew up.

Discover what happens when Danny gets involved in a secret plan to rescue bison from Yellowstone National Park and discovers something important about himself in the process.

“It was an honor to read and review the reluctant reader book Thunder on the Plains, the first teen novel in the PathFinders books featuring Native American teen characters and situations. It is very refreshing to finally give our Native American children an opportunity to read stories they can relate to. The book contains characters that are appealing, convincing and complex. Recommended for teens that like books with depth, history and Native American culture. This is a well-written book with characters that are culturally appropriate and accurate.”
—Kathleen Marshall (Chumash)
Santa Ynez Chumash Language Teacher
California Dept. of Education, American Indian Education Oversight Committee Member

Gary Robinson is a writer and filmmaker of Cherokee and Choctaw descent. He has spent 25 years working with American Indian communities to tell the stories of Native people. His previous works include From Warriors to Soldiers and The Language of Victory. He lives in rural central California.