Tuesday, October 30, 2018

APPLE IN THE MIDDLE by Dawn Quigley.  Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University Press, 2018. 264p.  ISBN 978-194616307-3 hb. $25.95   Gr. 6-8   JUV

Apple Starkington, the cultural product of a Minneapolis suburb, has always felt like she didn't quite belong.  She speaks with an Australian accent when under pressure, is kind of sensitive about her tan skin, and doesn't like her name ever since someone told her that an apple is Native American on the outside, but white on the inside.  She comes from a white dad and an Ojibwe mom, but has always lived with her dad because Apple's mom died giving birth to her.  This summer she's being re-acquainted with her grandparents on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota.  The grandparents give her space to adjust to a very practical way of life, a subtle sense of humor, a community of extended family that makes sure everyone is cared for, unconditional love, and an acceptance of people and nature that she has never experienced before.  Finding the other half of her heritage is just what Apple needed to accept herself and give her the confidence to choose a path in the world.  Since Michigan and Wisconsin are also home to Ojibwe tribes, Apple opens up their world to all of us.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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