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Flight of the Wild Geese
Author: T.D. Thompson
Format: Paperback
  • T.D. Thompson has created poignantly realistic characters by skilfully refraining from inserting authorial judgments on their motives and psychology. Instead, he leaves it to the gaps in Dave's perception to reveal the complexities of the characters. For instance, Thompson makes it possible for the reader to befriend Jamie and realize there is more to him than what he tells Dave. Dave only acknowledges the possibility that he may have misjudged Jamie after the trip. During the journey, Dave keeps dismissing Jamie's clownish ways as irritating immaturity while the reader is left to wonder if Jamie is hiding his feelings behind an act of disrespect and nonchalance.

    Although it is only 122 pages in length, Flight of the Wild Geese is a compact and emotionally charged novel. Thompson portrays the maturing of an adolescent boy with sensitivity and refuses to offer easy answers. While some of Dave's circumstances and experiences are unique, the basic themes of heartbreak, loss and the struggle for self identity make Flight of the Wild Geese a story to which many adolescent readers would relate.


Oracles: A Novel
Format: Hardcover
  • In this futuristic novel, the natural wilderness is disappearing due to human incursion and urbanization. Small pockets of nature remain and are used for tourist visits and historical interpretations. Television broadcasts pictures, sounds, and smells, and space travel is commonplace.

    The Yantuck Indians must find a way to preserve the natural environment that survives on their eastern United States reservation and yet participate in a global economy. This dilemma creates factions within the tribe: the Yantucks who believe in a more traditional way of life and those who seek to enhance tribal finances by marketing and selling "Indian-ness," first through a casino and then a new age movement.

    Ashneon Quay, a young medicine woman-in-training, is herself caught between two worlds. Growing up with elderly family members, both medicine people, she attends a local college where she studies anthropology. Quay struggles to find a balance between the traditional and the new and identify a path that's right for her.

    Vividly rendered with strong characters and a dose of magical realism, this innovative glimpse of one Indian family trying to maintain tribal culture in the midst of rapid transformation resonates with issues Native peoples currently face.


The Bean Trees: A Novel
Format: Paperback
  • Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.


The Middle Ground (Rapid Reads)
Author: Zoe Whittall
Format: Paperback
  • When everything goes wrong at once, Missy Turner begins to make some unusual choices.
    Missy Turner thinks of herself as the most ordinary woman in the world. She has a lot to be thankful for—a great kid, a loving husband, a job she enjoys and the security of living in the small town where she was born. Then one day everything gets turned upside down—she loses her job, catches her husband making out with the neighbor and is briefly taken hostage by a young man who robs the local café. With her world rapidly falling apart, Missy finds herself questioning the certainties she's lived with her whole life.

    CM Magazine - April 30, 2010
    "Whittall's prose demonstrates vitality and humour as she includes the minutiae of daily life among the bizarre events in Missy's adventure…An entertaining read. Recommended."


The Whale People
Format: Paperback
  • In The Whale People, young Atlin must one day succeed his father Nit-gass, a great whaling chief of the Hotsath people. The boy trains for his role with the mixture of yearning and apprehension experienced by every youth racing toward adulthood - except that in Atlin's case, his whole community is depending on his success.

    With lean, sure-footed prose, Haig-Brown captures the tangled emotions of adolescence, and in the process conveys a vivid portrait of pre-Columbian life on the West Coast. Never preachy or condescending, The Whale People is richly furnished with the material and spiritual mainstays of its characters: canoes, harpoons, animals and "tumanos," the personal magic a great whaler and leader must possess.

    "Timeless" is a term too freely bandied about, but seldom has a story so deftly married the moment with the millennia. Written 40 years ago - it was named Book of the Year for Children by the Canadian Library Association in 1964 - it could be set 400 years ago, yet there is not one quaint or dated sentence in it.


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