This fantasy adventure series is steeped in American Indian culture and so much more.
Winner: Mom’s Choice Award — Silver Metal
Winner: Awesome Indies — Seal of Approval
Recipient: Readers’ Favorite — 5 Star Review
Today is the release date for a new YA novel called Wind Catcher that I had the chance to read in advance and want to recommend. Here are the five key reasons you might want to read this book:
1. Father / Daughter Author Team
The book is co-authored by Jeff and Erynn Altabef, a father/ daughter writing team. That’s just cool. It’s rare, it’s unique, it’s special and it leads an original perspective to the novel. Both authors’ voices are incorporated into the story without weakening the plot line in any way.
2. Native American Fantasy
This book is considered a Native American YA Fantasy. It incorporates history and culture from Native American belief systems with fantasy writing and contemporary young adult issues. I’ve never read anything quite like it before, although in a tangential way it reminds me of one of my favorite books, Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. I think it’s because of the way that spiritual/ psychological issues are tackled through a lens of mystery and fantasy. What’s spirit? What’s fantasy? What’s “crazy”?
3. It’s About Choosing
The main character faces a series of choices about where to go with her life, choices that reflect the decisions that teens face when teetering between childhood and adulthood. That’s something that I find super relatable. After all, we all made choices as teens and young adults that shaped a lot of what followed.
4. It’s a Good, Fast Read
True to YA format, it’s a book that you can read quickly. I love to immerse myself in a story for a few hours and read it from beginning to end (although admittedly I read quickly). I love to finish a book while traveling on a plane or when I can’t sleep one night. But I don’t want to compromise quality for quickness.
5. It’s a Series
This is the first book in a series called Chosen. That means that if you like this book, you can look forward to the ones that follow. The second book is due out in November 2015.
And Now for the Prizes!
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I’m still kind of recovering from my long weekend back to school. Those weekends are intense and they just wipe me out. I’m in class from 9-8 on Friday and Saturday and then 9-4 on Sunday. The classes this semester are family dynamics, psychopathology and trauma – not light material. So when I woke up on Monday I just felt completely beat up from the inside out and I’ve been mostly recuperating since.
That said, the weekend was truly inspiring. We pack a lot of amazing information into these weekends and I always leave with so, so much to think about. The favorite thing that stands out from this past weekend is a short TED talk that we watched in family dynamics about “the single story”. I have lots of thoughts but for now I’ll let the video speak for itself:
Art from Embracing Our Differences, a diversity celebration organization
In October I attended a diversity training weekend for my school. I had mixed feelings about this and although I’ve wanted to write about the experience I still haven’t been able to sort through my thoughts enough to be ready to share them. However, I was just going through some of the handouts that we got there and I really resonated with this simple message about our differences so I wanted to reiterate it here.
The “messages about difference” makes four points:
- A basic function of the brain is to sort information into categories, e.g. objects, people, etc.
- We apply categories to people to determine how to relate to certain groups
- We develop categories based on messages throughout our lives about differences
- The challenge exists when we mistake the categories for reality
I think this makes a great point. We all have “isms” that we apply to others and we do this in large part based on the natural, adaptive sorting function of the human brain. In becoming aware of the fact that we do this we become increasingly capable of recognizing our biases and making sure that we don’t “mistake the categories for reality” when encountering others in our world.
Do you agree?