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Blessing's bead
Debby Dahl Edwardson
Teen Fiction EDWARDS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Author of the picture book Whale Snow, Edwardson's first novel is a lyrical piece of historical fiction that focuses on Inupiaq culture in Alaska, narrated by two teenage women, generations apart. In 1917, Nutaaq's beloved older sister, Aaluk, falls in love with a visiting Siberian and disappears with him across the ocean, leaving her sister with a pair of blue beads and a promise to return. Soon after, Spanish influenza devastates Nutaaq's village ("The silence of death has become as familiar as family. I recognize it instantly"). Seventy years later, Blessing (Nutaaq's great-granddaughter) and her younger brother are sent away from their alcoholic mother in Anchorage to live with their grandmother in a traditional Inupiaq village where they initially feel like outsiders. But as Blessing absorbs their stories and traditions ("When they stamp their feet, the drums pound louder and the voices rise higher and it makes me want to jump up and dance with them"), she begins to identify with her culture. Narrating in a heavy dialect, Blessing makes an emotional journey of self-discovery, as Edwardson weaves a fascinating portrait of a family's rich history. Ages 10-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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more titles about

main characters Nutaaq
Female
Journeys to an annual fair with her sister;.

Aaluk
Female
Older sister of Nutaaq;.



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