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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 120
Themes: determination, pride, powwow dancing
Publisher: Book Publishing Company
Pub Date: 01/Apr/2014
Fry Reading Level: 4.5
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Fifteen-year-old Mark Centeno is of Chumash, Crow, Mexican and Filipino ancestry—he calls himself “four kinds of brown.” When Mark goes to live with his Chumash grandmother on the reservation in central California, he discovers a rich world of family history and culture that he knows very little about. He also finds a pathway to understanding better a part of his own identity: powwow dancing. Riveted by the traditional dancers and feeling the magnetic pull of the drums, Mark begins the training and other preparations necessary for him to compete as a dancer in one of America's largest powwows.

American Indians in Children's Literature
"Robinson imparts a lot of solid information to us--information that bats down stereotyping and bias that is all-too-rampant in society...[He] also introduces readers to some of the identity politics that run through Native communities...I think Native kids (like Mark) who are new to powwow dancing, or who are mixed, will like reading how this identity politics will all get sorted out, and many will love seeing references to Gathering of Nations. Non-Native kids will get a glimpse into the not-monolithic world of Native people."

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