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Captured by the fierce Algonquin, Picture Maker, a talented artist with the ability to create drawings that prophecy the future, escapes her captors and seeks refuge, first with the peace-loving Naskapi and then with the Inuit, in whose company she encounters a Norse hunter who could hold the key to the mystery of her birth, in a vivid saga of fourteenth-century North America.
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Penina Keen Spinka is the author of many award-winning novels for young adults about Native American culture. She lives with her husband in Glendale, Arizona.From Publishers Weekly:
A young Native American girl, separated from her tribe in the harsh 14th century, must find her way through life in this engrossing coming-of-age saga marking the adult fiction debut of young adult fiction writer Spinka (Mother's Blessing). The girl, named Picture Maker by her Ganeogaono people because of her drawings that foretell the future, is captured by the enemy Algonquins at age 13. Raped, pregnant and marked for death because she killed her attacker, the brutal Hawk Feather, Picture Maker escapes her captors and wanders for months. She eventually stumbles into a Naskapi village in the far reaches of eastern Canada, where she is taken in and made part of the tribe. Soon, though, the sense that she may still be in danger compels Picture Maker to continue her travels. She allows herself to be sold to the Inuit, who also treat her well. But her spirit is crushed when an Inuit leader, following custom, kills her newborn because the baby girl represents another mouth to feed in time of famine. Picture Maker joins a breakaway group of Inuits who journey across the Labrador Sea to Greenland, where she meets her future husband, Halvard, a Norseman, whose way of life represents yet another cultural shift for the young woman. Spinka's narrative plods at times, weighed down by unnecessary description, and the dialogue is stiffly formal. But as the narrative progresses, it eventually gathers speed and is transformed into an absorbing adventure tale told from an exhaustively researched historical perspective. Spinka, who is working on a sequel, has uncovered native traditions and beliefs in primitive North America and brought them to life through the eyes of her courageous young heroine. Agent, Stephanie Tade. Literary Guild Discovery Selection; BOMC, Doubleday Book Club and QPB featured alternates.
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