A Gleam of Light

A Gleam of Light

A Gleam of Light by T.J. and M.L. Wolf   (Science Fiction)

For fans of Native American culture, UFOs, and government secrecy about unexplained phenomena, this book provides a look at the possibilities linking ancient civilizations and the extraterrestrial.

After ten years in Washington, D.C., a young Hopi woman reluctantly returns to the Arizona reservation on which she grew up. She comes at the request of old friends who believe she can help them stop a military operation that threatens sacred lands. Even though she has lost her own way following the deaths of her activist parents, she is familiar with all the old teachings and old ways, giving her the background necessary to understand and respect what possibly lies beneath the area known as Sacred Peaks. In addition, she herself experienced a UFO sighting as a child, the effects of which still linger in her mind.

The story is full of Hopi lore, interesting archeology information, and insights into extraterrestrial sightings, and while at times the dialogue feels like recitation of a research text, the plot is intriguing enough to keep reader interest. The emphasis is more on action and lore than on character development, and so emotional connection with characters is somewhat limited. Some head- hopping occurs, but it’s minor. Like most stories of its kind, it leaves the reader pondering what’s possible in our universe, what’s hidden from ordinary citizens, and what the future may hold for mankind.

The authors are a married couple with an interest in ancient alien theories, and they’ve done a good job of putting together a story worth reading. More character development could widen its audience.

Grandma gives A Gleam of Light three stars. 3 stars

Bella Reads and Reviews Books received a free copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

April Raintree

AprilRaintree

April Raintree by Beatrice Mosionier (Young Adult Fiction)

When I chose April Raintree to read and review, I had no idea that it is already one of Canada’s most popular works of aboriginal literature. I was captivated by the description: “April Raintree is the story of two sisters, separated from their family and one another. Despite that, the bond between them grows as they navigate a society that is, at times, indifferent, hostile, and violent. Through this work of fiction, author Beatrice Mosionier reflects the all-too-harsh reality facing Indigenous people today – as well as a message of hope, healing, and reclamation.”

April and her sister, Cheryl, are Métis, a mix of white and Native American. Their story, told by April, starts in early childhood when they are taken from their loving, but alcoholic, parents and put into the Canadian foster care system. Sometimes living together, and sometimes forced to live separately, April and Cheryl experience both kind and abusive foster parents. April, who can pass as white, chooses to do so as an adult, while Cheryl, who exhibits more of the native features, develops great pride in her heritage. As time passes, society takes its toll on both of them, and their once-strong childhood bond is strained when they become adults. Tragedy follows them in many forms, and their story is not an easy one to read. Yet it is compelling and held my interest and attention; I found myself reading late into the night to find out what happened to them. The ending—simultaneously tragic and uplifting—left me feeling that my time was well-spent.

This book has many autobiographical attributes, giving it even more importance as a source of substantive information about how aboriginal people are treated in both Canada and the United States. At times, I found some of the dialogue too complex to be realistic for two children, but for me that did not detract from the message and the story that needed to be told.

As mentioned above, this is not an easy book to read for many reasons, but to do so is definitely worth the effort. I will be thinking about this story, these characters, and the reality they represent for a long time.

Based on the adult novel In Search of April Raintree, April Raintree has been revised specifically for students in grades 9 through 12.

Grandma gives April Raintree five stars. 5 stars

Bella Reads and Reviews received April Raintree as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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