Soldier Sister, Fly Home
by Nancy Bo Flood; illustrations by Shonto Begay



Charlesbridge, 2016. ISBN 978-1-580-89702-0.
Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
Posted on 10/13/2016

Teen/Girls; Fiction: Multicultural

When you are fourteen-years-old, how do you deal with an identity that is confusing and loss that is nearly inconceivable? If you are Tess in Nancy Bo Flood's middle grade novel, Soldier Sister, Fly Home, you talk to your Navajo grandparents, because your mom works at the hospital; and your dad is in Phoenix because he got a promotion at his computer company; and the white kids at the school in Flagstaff bully you because they see you as Indian, not Navajo or white; and your big sister, Gaby, is serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

The day before Gaby deploys, she asks her little sister, Tess, to take care of her stallion, Blue. Tess is frankly scared. "Show him who's boss," Gaby advises, and her grandmother agrees. Tess practices being in charge until it comes naturally. She and Blue become bonded.

The Navajo world, specifically sheep camp, teaches her to embrace the earth and to appreciate the give and take of nature. Her grandmother encourages her to take the best of both cultures and make them her own.

Author Nancy Bo Flood tells this story in vivid, expressive language. Accessible to middle-grade students of both cultures, the story grabbed and held me, and I am old enough to collect social security. Tess's voice and earnestness are authentic and readers will empathize with her fears and support her growing confidence. I loved the grandparents who guided Tess and shared their culture so lovingly, and the way Tess bonded with Blue. Her story took me back to when I was in middle school (AKA junior high), even though I am not Navajo, never owned a horse, never had a sister in the army, and didn't know my grandparents.

It isn't always easy to show deep feelings in simple sentences. Nancy Bo Flood has done a marvelous job. Girls and their grandparents will love this book.

Soldier Sister, Fly Home is dedicated to the memory of Lori Piestewa, who was a member of the Hopi tribe and also Mexican American. Lori was the first Native American woman in US history to die in combat on foreign soil. She died on March 23, 2003 and was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal and the Purple Heart.


Nancy Bo Flood lived and taught on the Navajo Nation for fifteen years. She was a research psychologist and studied brain development at the University of Minnesota and the University of London before she began writing books for children. Her books include Warriors in the Crossfire and Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo.

Authors/Publicists: For promotion purposes, you may quote excerpts of up to 200 words from our reviews, with a link to the page on which the review is posted. ©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page). If you wish to reprint the full review, you may do so ONLY with her written permission, and with a link to http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org. Contact our Book Review Editor (bookreviews at storycirclebookreviews.org) with your request and she will forward it to the appropriate person.

StoryCircleBookReviews.org has received a copy of this book for review from the author, publisher, or publicist. We have received no other compensation.

       
   
StoryCircleBookReviews provides a review venue for women self-published authors and for women's books published by independent and university presses.


Email me with news about your book reviews



Sarton Women's Book Award


Your ad could be here.
Advertise with us!


   

Visit us on Facebook and Twitter and goodreads.





Buy books online through amazon.com by simply clicking on the book cover or title. Your purchase will support our work of encouraging all women to tell their stories.
This title is currently available ONLY as an e-book
#visitors: