Michael Dorris Sees Behind Trees

ISBN 13: 9780786812905

Sees Behind Trees

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9780786812905: Sees Behind Trees

Troubled by his poor eyesight, Walnut is worried about how he can prove himself ready to be an adult by accurately shooting an arrow, but his extraordinary listening ability comes to his aid, in the story of a young Native American boy in sixteenth-century America.

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Review:

The best adolescent fiction offers more than an escape from teenage turmoil; it instructs as it entertains, giving young readers a view into lives--fictional though they may be--outside their own. Without sentimentality or preachiness but with clear awareness of this power, Michael Dorris tells the story of Walnut, a young Native American boy. Because Walnut can't see well, he has difficulty meeting the challenges, especially feats of skill with bow and arrow, that prove he is ready to receive a new name and become an adult. When a sympathetic uncle invents a new contest to "see what can't be seen," the boy's other senses bring success and earn him the name Sees Behind Trees. Dorris could easily stop there, but he nudges the youngster onward through a series of trials that show adulthood is about more than getting there. (Ages 8 and up)

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-8?This compelling coming-of-age story set in pre-Columbian America is rich in imagery and chock-full of wisdom. The novel begins as Walnut, a bright and earnest, but seriously myopic boy realizes that, try as he might, he will never master the skills he needs to become a competent hunter. His mother, who is responsible for his training, takes a different tack and encourages him to "look with his ears." The boy hones his unusual talent so well that he earns the right to his grown-up name. Because of his ability to "to see what can't be seen," he is given special status within the tribe and is selected to accompany Gray Fire, a respected village elder, on a pilgrimage to find the land of water, a place that has eluded the old man since his youth. Much of the book deals with their journey, during which Sees Behind Trees learns a great deal from Gray Fire about the nature of dreams and gains some valuable self-knowledge in the process. The young man encounters "strangers" for the first time, is tested physically and spiritually, and ultimately proves himself a man by finding his way home. There's a timeless quality to this 15th-century adventure that will be meaningful and immediate for young people today. Dorris takes on some meaty existential issues here; he does so with grace, bighearted empathy, and always with crystal-clear vision.?Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Dorris, Michael
Published by Hyperion Book CH (1997)
ISBN 10: 0786812907 ISBN 13: 9780786812905
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Michael Dorris
Published by Hyperion Book CH (1997)
ISBN 10: 0786812907 ISBN 13: 9780786812905
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