Books for Girls

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Crazy Horse's Girlfriend
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;

Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.

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Epic Fail
Authors:
Cristy Watson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

This book tells a tough but realistic story about teen relationships and sexual assault and how social media plays a role in magnifying its impact.

In suburban Vancouver, in a multiracial mixed-income neighbourhood, three 14-year-old friends, a boy and two girls, go to a party organized by the boy's older brother. One of the girls, who comes from a mixed-race Aboriginal/Caucasian family of lower socio-economic standing, is raped, which has very serious consequences on her mental health.

Two years later, photos of the crime and the victim show up on social media and the girl's friend decides to confirm the victim's account of her experience — and confirm that the assailant was his own brother's good buddy. His actions of first remaining silent, then finally speaking up, have unexpected consequences for everyone — including him.

This novel reflects the complexities that teens face dealing with the rape culture many young men participate in and how it is intensified by social media.

Reviews
"I love the Sidestreets series, and this book is no exception. It tackles a very difficult issue that is very relevant in today's society of social media and cell phones. It's a quick read, and very to the point, and it outlines the aftermath of the horrific event, and the healing, rather than the event itself. If you haven't read a Sidestreets book, I highly recommend it. It's a great series for teens, on very real issues, and it's Canadian!" — Bailey Randolph, Librarian, NetGalley

"This book opens the door to talk about rape culture and the way that women are allowed to navigate in the world of sexuality."— Isaiah Roby, NetGalley

"In addition to the diverse protagonists, many secondary characters also bring diversity to the series."— Kirkus Reviews

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the SideStreets series.  SideStreets are edgy, fast-paced novels that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short, heart-stopping books — sure to engage the most reluctant reader.

Interest age: From 13 To 18

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.25" x 7.50"

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$12.95

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Fire Fight
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10;

After her ikusin (grandmother) dies, Kai Hunter, a part-Navajo, part-Stoney Nakoda 16-year-old, runs away to Banff, Alberta, to avoid being placed in a foster home. Kai lies her way into a new identity, a job, and a safe place to live. She makes new friends and volunteers with a rapid attack crew for the forestry service. She even meets a great guy named Rory, who's into motorcycles, just like her - and who seems to be into her, too. But Kai is scared of being found out, and she isn't sure that she can trust all of her new friends...or that she likes the person she's pretending to be. Meanwhile, she's got to pay rent, figure out whether Rory is boyfriend material, and assist the rap-attack crew as they face a string of suspicious forest fires. In the thrilling conclusion to this romantic adventure, Kai's choices become matters of life and death.

R.L. 3.5

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Girl Gang
Authors:
Nancy Miller
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

After her online mischief threatens her father's job, sixteen-year-old Sasha is eager to leave for Canada with her mother. She thinks she has found a new start in CREW (Confident, Remarkable, Excellent, Welcoming), a girls' volunteerism group at her new school. But she quickly learns that the group is a front for a girl gang — and their true philosophy is to Con, Rip Off, Exploit, and Weaken the people they claim to help. Their leader, Martha, who goes by the nickname Master, is eager to exploit Sasha's computer skills for a more lucrative level of crime: stealing identities and luring and blackmailing men online.

Afraid of being exposed for her role in the crimes, Sasha is forced to stay in CREW and follow Master's orders. But when she starts getting attention from Master's crush, Sasha finds herself in more danger than ever. With only her online wiles at her disposal, Sasha must use Master's hunger for power and fame against her and bring her down for good.

This story plays out against the backdrop of peer pressure and digital media, showing readers that fitting in with a powerful group isn't worth sacrificing your safety and integrity.

Reviews
"The story is captivating, moving, full of suspense and twists and turns."— Anthony Cherrier, NetGalley

"Gang Girl could certainly have a place in a classroom library ... The language is clear and simple for an emerging or struggling reader while the content is suitable for a more mature audience." — Allison Giggey, teacher-librarian, CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"In addition to the diverse protagonists, many secondary characters also bring diversity to the series."— Kirkus Reviews

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the SideStreets series.  SideStreets are edgy, fast-paced novels that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short, heart-stopping books — sure to engage the most reluctant reader.

Interest age: From 13 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 3.6
Lexile Reading Level: HL600L

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.25" x 7.50"

 

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$12.95

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Hannah and the Salish Sea
Authors:
Carol Anne Shaw
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8;

In the second volume of the Hannah trilogy, summer has arrived, and fourteen-year-old Hannah Anderson is excited about spending it with Max (who has been giving her stomach butterflies lately). But things are happening in Cowichan Bay that Hannah can't explain. When a mysterious accident leads her to a nest of starving eaglets, she meets Izzy Tate, a young Metis girl staying in the village for the summer. Why is Izzy so angry all the time, and is it just a coincidence that she is the spitting image of Yisella, the Cowichan girl Hannah met the summer she was twelve? Hannah has even more questions. Why is Jack, her raven friend of First Nation legend, bringing her unusual "gifts" in the middle of the night? Is it all connected to a ring of poachers who have apparently moved into the valley? The eaglets are in danger and so are the Roosevelt elk. And what's with the Orca 1, the supposedly abandoned tuna boat anchored out in the bay? After Hannah and Max make a grisly discovery in the woods, they know they must take action. When Izzy agrees to join them on a midnight kayak trip, the three discover the unspeakable poaching secret on the Orca 1, and they are soon in a fight for their lives and the lives of the endangered animals being hunted for their parts.

Reviews
“Carol Anne Shaw provides young teen protagonists with contexts for their own parent and family issues, first attractions, peer pressures, jealousies, trust, and reactivity while learning to be themselves, not what others want them to be. . . . Within the framework of a gloriously natural setting, a First Nations history, and contemporary environmental issues, Hannah and the Salish Sea is sure to draw new readership from those who don’t want to relive too much angst in their books.” —CanLit for Little Canadians

“A delightful evocation of West Coast island life, complete with poachers, grow-ops, First Nations legends and two adventurous and confused fourteen-year-olds.” — John Wilson

Hannah & the Salish Sea pits three spirited teenagers against a gang of unsavory poachers and pot-growers. A quintessential west coast adventure story that’s part page-turner, part budding romance, and part homage to the traditional stories of the Cowichan First Peoples.” —Nikki Tate

Series Information
This is the second book in the Hannah Series, a juvenile fiction novel series.

Additional Information
200 pages | 5.50" x 7.63

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$11.95

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Hannah and the Spindle Whorl
Authors:
Carol Anne Shaw
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8;

When twelve-year-old Hannah uncovers an ancient Salish spindle whorl hidden in a cave near her home in Cowichan Bay, she is transported back to a village called Tl'ulpalus, in a time before Europeans had settled in the area. Through the agency of a trickster raven, Hannah befriends Yisella, a young Salish girl, and is welcomed into village life. Here she discovers that the spindle whorl is the prize possession of Yisella's mother, Skeepla, a famous spinner and weaver. When Skeepla falls victim to smallpox, Hannah finally begins to open up about the death of her own mother.

Hannah and Yisella are then accidentally left behind when the villagers journey to the mainland, and they witness the arrival of Governor James Douglas and numerous settlers on the Hecate. As the settlers pillage the village for souvenirs, Hannah and Yisella rescue the spindle whorl and, pursued by the ship's crew, escape into the dark forest. From the refuge in the cave, Hannah returns to her own time with a greater understanding of herself and the history of the First Nations.

Series Information
This is the first book in the Hannah Series, a juvenile fiction novel series.

Additional Information
244 pages | 5.50" x 7.63"

Authentic Canadian Content
$12.95

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Hoop Dreams
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Playing ball is what keeps Podium Sports Academy's basketball captain going when things get rough. When there's trouble back home, Allie turns to basketball. Ditto when her relationship is in trouble or when she's at odds with her friends. But then tragedy strikes when an old knee injury resurfaces and Allie is told she might not be able to play again. With her hope of a future as an elite basketball player gone, Allie is overwhelmed with dark thoughts and feels she has nothing left to live for. That is, until unexpected support comes from two unlikely sources: her folks back home and her friends at Podium, her home away from home.

Reviews
"I'm really impressed with the writing and character development. Dialogue is realistic, and the pacing is exciting. Will be recommending more from the Podium series." — Jaime Tong, Educator at Vancouver School Board

"Allie leads a cast of well-drawn, multicultural characters, some of whom have starred in other Podium books, giving a cohesive feel to this fictional high school. The action flows naturally, alternating between scenes of intense basketball action, solitary angst, and hanging with friends. Readers will identify with Allie’s struggles and second-guess her choices, making this a valuable and worthwhile read for all teens -- elite athletes or not. Gripping, relatable and fast-paced, these books will appeal to a wide-ranging audience, particularly to teens reading below age level."— Penny Draper, National Reading Campaign

"Hoop Dreams is the perfect book for my students who need a short novel to get them engaged in reading again."— Melissa S., Educator, NetGalley Reviewer

Educator & Series Information
The Podium Sports Academy series follows the lives of super-jocks at an elite high school as they train for a future in pro sports.

Interest age: From 13 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 2.9
Lexile Reading Level: HL550L

Additional Information
136 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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Lucky Break
Authors:
Brooke Carter
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

Seventeen-year-old Lucy "Lucky" Graves is devoted to her championship rugby team, but her dreams of a scholarship are destroyed when she breaks her leg during an important game. If it doesn't heal properly, Lucy could be benched for the rest of the year. Goodbye pro career, goodbye college, goodbye future. Without rugby, who is she? Now her anxiety is getting worse, and a past trauma has resurfaced to haunt her. Lucy needs to get real about what happened when she was twelve, and about what it really means to be a team player.

Reviews
"A good book about women in sport and has enough romance and family drama to interest other readers. Highly Recommended." — CM Magazine, July 2018

"Clever, quippy dialogue and enjoyable first-person voice make the sassy, inner-monologuing Lucy a pleasure of a protagonist…Bonus points are given for winning subplot involving a goofball math teacher, and a sweet, sincere look at the complexities of female friendship between competitive athletes. This book tackles a lot and scores at every turn."— Booklist, August 2018

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the Orca Sports series. Orca Sports stories engage middle-schoolers and teens with fast-paced plots and easy-to-read language. Topics include a variety of team and individual sports. Reading levels from grade 2.0 to 4.5; Interest level ages 10+.

Additional Information
184 pages | 7.00" x 4.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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One Night
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

Luna Begay is as studious and serious about her Aboriginal heritage as her sister, Issy, is outgoing and fun. When Issy convinces Luna to go with her to a party full of rich kids, Luna is surprised to end up talking with Jon, who is charming, sophisticated, and very good-looking. But the night turns bad when Jon drugs and rapes Luna.

Feeling guilty and ashamed that she will be perceived as an "Indian slut," Luna doesn't tell anyone and remains in denial until Issy figures out that Luna is pregnant. Knowing that her decisions will affect her parents and Issy as much as her own future, Luna has to work out how to deal with the consequences of that one night, and she has to do it fast.

Reviews
"A hi-lo title that reads like a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. An adequate choice for struggling readers."— Tamara Saarinen, School Library Journal

"Melanie Florence's young adult novel One Night is a powerful read for all readers. Written for reluctant readers it will be read by readers at all levels... The author explores many issues — sexual abuse, bullying, teenage pregnancy, adoption, and rape. Melanie Florence's well-written and compassionate novel does not disappoint." — Keep Calm and Novel On, Educator and NetGalley Reviewer, 

"I adore Luna... She never begins to act out of character but she does grow throughout the novel ... Parents and other adults [are exactly as I would expect them to be. Realistically portrayed, they are at first shocked, then incredibly supportive of Luna. Her principal and teachers are understanding and concerned with her safety. I heaved a sigh of relief at this portrayal. I work at a public high school ... and I absolutely KNOW this is how it goes down there rather than the usual judgmental way portrayed in novels. (Although the students on the other hand can be brutal - also written in the novel.) Luna's parents were so fantastic. Concern for their daughter, getting her immediate medical care, discussing realistic options for after the baby is born, and supporting Luna the whole way are exactly how a parent SHOULD react. Writing adults as they are here could encourage girls to come forward about rape or pregnancy. THANK YOU MELANIE FLORENCE! ... The inclusion of so many contemporary issues (alcoholism, stereotyping, negative branding, rape, drinking, abortion, adoption, being roofied) makes it interesting and thought-provoking the whole way through." — Mandy Peterson, Librarian

"This book deals with some serious topics that are timely and are issues teens are facing. One Night touches on aspects of racism, stereotyping, bullying, drugs, rape, and Aboriginal heritage. It would be well-paired with some recent news articles or other non-fiction pieces on any of these topics."— Chasity Findlay,, CM Magazine

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the SideStreets series. SideStreets are edgy, fast-paced novels that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short, heart-stopping books — sure to engage the most reluctant reader.

Interest age: From 14 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 2.9
Lexile Reading Level: HL560L

Additional Information
192 pages | 4.25" x 7.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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Skin Room
Authors:
Sara Tilley
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

The sharply realized scenes in Skin Room, Sara Tilleys remarkable debut novel, alternate between Sanikiluaq, Northwest Territories (now Nunavut), and St. Johns, Newfoundland; between 12-year-old Teresa Normans crash into Inuit culture and her later life as a 23-year-old adult in the harrowing final phase of coping with the tragedy of her year in Sanikiluaq. She is an innocent victim of severe cultural misunderstanding. Nobody to blame, widespread suffering. With panache, Teresa writes her way into the events leading up to and away from the trauma. If you love words, theyll never desert you, she says. They will always be there, waiting patiently in their ordered pages. I can re-read the same books over and over and be surprised, every time, by some detail or nuance that didnt appear before. . . . Always, it seems, the story . . . has changed and Ive remained constant, when, really, the object is an object, a thing unchanging, and it is I who continue to metamorphose. My heart. My tongue. Only the best books invite re-reading, of course, those by writers who both love words and know how to work them. The writing in Skin Room, both the voices of precocious 12-year-old Teresa and her sophisticated older self, is straightforward and yet as memorably evocative as poetry. Whether Sara Tilley is describing the mores of Inuit schoolchildren or the contemporary downtown St. Johns arts scene, she carries a reader close, every step of the way. Skin Room is one of those novels one wants to re-read because it grabs and never lets go. The novel is hilarious at times, despite the heart-rending central event and aftermath. Coming of age has not been more searingly rendered. Skin Room is the work of a formidable new talent.

Suggested Grades: 11-12
ABPBC

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$22.00

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The B-Team: The Case of the Angry First Wife
Authors:
Melodie Campbell
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Del's great-aunt, Kitty, has retired from a life of crime and embarked on a new venture, the B-Team. Although Del works at an animal shelter by day, by night she, her great-aunt and their cohorts, Dino and Ritz, use their criminal skills to right wrongs. In this fun book, the modern-day Robin Hoods set out to return a necklace to its rightful owner but along the way discover they've been duped by an imposter who also wants to get her hands on the necklace. The problem is, criminals can't go to the police, even if they are on the side of the good. Del comes up with a new plan, and the B-Team saves the day. Not without a few detours along the way.

Reviews
"The latest entry in the publisher's 'Rapid Reads' series of high-low novels aimed at adults with a third-grade reading level, Campbell's humorous mystery is for readers who enjoy a cast of quirky characters with unusual talents. "— Library Journal, January 2018

"Campbell tells a full force mystery novel in a rapid read package…Her style is plot forward, fuelled by feel-real, snappy dialogue that reveals the sense of place right down to the street corner. The B-Team…[is] delivered with intensity and laughter."— Don Graves, Canadian Mystery Reviews, January 2018

"The B-Team is well written, attention grabbing and fun. Once started, most readers will be hooked and have a hard time putting the book down. "— CM Magazine, March 2018

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the Rapid Reads series. Rapid Reads are short novels and nonfiction books for young adults aged 16+ and adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.

Additional Information
144 pages | 4.75" x 7.25" 

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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The Break
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.

A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette’s abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

Awards

  • 2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Literature Winner
  • Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction Winner
  • McNally Robison Book of the Year Winner
  • Amazon.ca First Novel Award 

Reviews
“Vermette is a staggering talent. Reading The Break is like a revelation; stunning, heartbreaking and glorious. From her exquisitely rendered characters to her fully realized world and the ratcheting tension, I couldn’t put it down. Absolutely riveting.” — Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach

“In Vermette’s poetic prose, The Break offers a stark portrayal of the adversity that plagues First Nations women in this country — and the strength that helps them survive.” — Toronto Star

The Break doesn’t read like an impressive first novel; it reads like a masterstroke from someone who knows what they’re doing . . . Vermette is skilled at writing with a language that is conversational and comfortable and with a poetic ease that makes the hard things easier to swallow. The result is a book that is at times emotionally demanding, funny, suspenseful, and always engaging.”—The Winnipeg Review

“This is a debut novel by the Governor General's Literary Award-winning Métis poet Katherena Vermette. The story takes place in Winnipeg's North End. And it starts when Stella thinks she sees a violent assault taking place in a barren strip of land outside her window, known as The Break. Turns out, she is right. In fact, there is a threat of violence that hovers over all the women in the story, three generations of them, and the story is told in many voices. Katherena writes with empathy and understanding about people who are living with the pain of intergenerational trauma. The Winnipeg winter she evokes is cold and cruel. But there is such love, loyalty and support in this story. If you enjoy a gripping family saga, I would recommend The Break.” — Shelagh Rogers, CBC The Next Chapter

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit What Creates Family?

The Canadian Indigenous Books for School list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts.

Note: This novel contains mature and challenging content, such as incidents of drug use, rape, and, violence.

Additional Information
288 pages | 5.25" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.95

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The Goddaughter Does Vegas
Authors:
Melodie Campbell
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Gina Gallo is a mob goddaughter who doesn't want to be one. She's left her loopy family behind to elope with Pete to Vegas. Except that eloping may be a mortal sin in an Italian family. Between that and some weird deliveries and suitors, Gina's nerves are frayed. Vegas is full of great acts, but one impersonation is real: Gina has a crime-committing double whose activities are making Gina front-page news. Gina has to track down this fiendish fraud before the police catch up with her. And, of course, cousin Nico is along for the ride.

Another madcap adventure for the loveable Gallo cousins that proves the rule "Why should things go right when they can go wrong?"

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the Rapid Reads series. Rapid Reads are short novels and nonfiction books for young adults aged 16+ and adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.

Additional Information
144 pages | 4.75" x 7.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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Trail of Lightning
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Navajo (Diné);
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

Reviews
“Someone please cancel Supernatural already and give us at least five seasons of this badass indigenous monster-hunter and her silver-tongued sidekick.” —The New York Times

“[C]rafts a powerful and fiercely personal journey through a compelling postapocalyptic landscape.” —Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives and Black Wolves

"Roanhorse vividly depicts Navajo land, legends, and culture in her marvelous fantasy debut, which launches the Sixth World series. After a cataclysm flooded much of the earth, the Dinétah—the homeland of the Navajo, or Diné—was one of the few remaining areas where people could survive. Legendary powers have risen among the Diné, and Maggie Hoskie is one of those who wield them. She was trained by a supernatural mentor to hunt monsters, and after vicious creatures commit a series of grisly murders, she has to muster all her skills to confront the incredibly powerful witch creating them. Roanhorse unspools a fascinating narrative of colorful magic in a world made otherwise bleak by both natural and man-made circumstances. The monster-hunting plot nearly takes a back seat to Maggie’s challenging journey of working through personal and cultural trauma, including the violent deaths of loved ones and an abusive relationship. Her partner, Kai, is a force for healing despite, or because of, his own history of pain. Their story is a fresh take on the tale of the emotionally and spiritually wounded hero who faces down increasing evil to make the world better. This rich tale from a strong Native American voice is recommended for all fantasy audiences." Sara Megibow, Publishers Weekly

Additional Information
304 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$23.99

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