From Goodreads: Danny Bigtree’s family has moved to Brooklyn, New York, and he just can’t seem to fit in at school. He’s homesick for the Mohawk reservation, and the kids in his class tease him about being an Indian—the thing that makes Danny most proud. Can he find the courage to stand up for himself?
Another great story from Bruchac. He has worked in a legend about peace and history that weaves perfectly into a modern tale of bullying. The chapters are short and the story pretty universal. Not only is Danny homesick for his old life he is being picked on at school by a couple kids and needs to learn how to navigate that situation. It would be the perfect book for any new student who is having trouble fitting in or for a class that’s having trouble accepting their new classmate.
In terms of my collection, I bought a copy because we need to diversify, but this one might be hard sell for a couple reasons. The first is the quiet tone of the book. Personally I love that about Bruchac’s books, but I have readers right now that like action, adventure, and drama. More importantly I think it’s a bit dated largely by the pictures in it. The haircuts and the clothes. Kids can be finicky and often won’t pick up books that look “old”. What does all this mean? I just need to hand sell the book, read it aloud, or have a teacher take it on in the classroom.
The reading level is a bit high for beginning readers, but it would work well for the higher second grade readers and on into third grade. It would also work well for fourth and fifth grade struggling readers and being realistic fiction it might appeal more to those readers as well. I wish I had gotten it in hardback, but I’ll settle for having to replace it in a few years if I can get some kids into it.