2022 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Honor Book
“Hidden throughout this moving novel in verse, old stories are discovered like buried treasures.” KIRKUS
“Bruchac , who is Abenaki, pens a spare novel-in-verse that richly addresses an array of subjects, including Wabanaki legends and beliefs, residential schools, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the difficulties of online schooling with insecure Wi-Fi.” Publishers Weekly
Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She’s there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There’s a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration.
Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn’t go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian’s family knows that he’ll protect them too.
Told in verse inspired by oral storytelling, this novel about the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the ways Malian’s community has cared for one another through plagues of the past, and how they keep caring for one another today.
Find out more about the author, and listen to him read some of his poems, on his website: