Synopses & Reviews
It's 1962, and Kitty's father, who works for the government, has been assigned to an Indian reservation in Oregon. All the teachers at Kitty's new school are white; the other kids are nearly all Indian. In addition to the discomfort of being new and in the minority, Kitty faces active hostility from the other students. She sees at first hand how widespread, and how deep, race prejudice goes in the community, and even within her own mind and heart.With the passage of time, she comes to understand that different groups have their own versions of the history she has learned in school, and that the "discovery" of America took place long before the whites arrived. Friendships and allegiances, mischief, baseball, mourning, humiliation, the courage to stand up against injustice and the desperate struggle to survive a forest fire--all are woven into the compelling account of Kitty's growing season at Warm Springs. Based on the author's childhood experiences, at a time when the civil rights movement was just beginning, this is a fresh look at age-old transitions: coming of age and coming home. Includes Author's Note.
"Set over the course of a school year in 1962, Noe's quietly powerful debut novel is inspired by the author's childhood memories of living on Indian reservations. Eleven-year-old Kitty is tired of being dragged around the country every time her father gets transferred. This time, it's from Virginia to Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, where he works as a forester for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, combating the dangerous fires in the Cascades. Kitty reluctantly attends yet another new school, an outsider and in the minority as a white person; she eventually befriends brave Jewel, her feisty brother Raymond, and kind Pinky. Still, Kitty has trouble navigating the reservation's intricate alliances, and she is shocked to find that her teachers and church acquaintances disrespect Indians, perceiving them as drunks and dropouts. As Kitty begins to see the difficult lives of her friends more clearly and grows aware of the prejudices and racial injustices around her, trouble inevitably follows. Noe's coming-of-age tale offers many revelatory moments such as when Kitty's class studies Columbus Day that will stick with readers. Ages 9 12." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Can a white girl feel at home on an Indian reservation? Based on the authors childhood experience in the early 1960s, this debut novel centers on Kitty, whose father is a government forester at Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon. Kitty is one of only two white kids in her class, and the Indian kids are keeping their distance. With time, Kitty becomes increasingly aware of the tensions and prejudices between Indians and whites, and of the past injustice and pain still very much alive on the reservation. Time also brings friendships and opportunities to make a difference. Map, authors note, glossary, and pronunciation guide.
About the Author
Katherine Schlick Noe teaches in the Master in Teaching Program and directs the Literacy for Special Needs graduate program at Seattle University. Dr. Noe is co-author of four books on literature circles for teachers and is web master of the Literature Circles Resource Center. Something to Hold is her first novel. She lives in Seattle, WA.