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SOARING SPIRITS: Conversations with Native American Teens

In one of the few YA books about growing up Native American today, teenagers from the Mohawk, Anishnabe, Quinault, Cherokee, and Pueblo peoples speak about themselves. Gravelle interviewed and photographed 17 young people on Indian reservations across the country. They speak candidly in many voices about family, school, community, dating, religion, sports, work, etc. One thing they all hate is the enduring Hollywood stereotype that shows them as all the same and all in the past. Many are honor students, and their voices are upbeat, though almost all tell of some family and friends with drug and alcohol problems. Teens everywhere will recognize the conflict in living between two cultures: the struggle to stay close to your roots but also be part of the mainstream. We need more contemporary books like this to go with the historical fiction and the shelves of great folklore.