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“Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Publisher: Western Reflections Publishing Company,
Summary: This novel recounts the story of the Meeker Massacre of 1879 on lands in Northwest Colorado, ceded by the US Government to the Yampa Utes. It is narrated by Flying Horse Mollie, a young teenager and Yampa Ute, who witnessed the incompetence and arrogance of the Indian Agents sent by Washington to supposedly provide food and shelter to Indians. The story details the destruction of the Indian's way of life as they got forced on to reservations, lost their identity and culture, and had their souls ripped from them by the US Government. This is a novel of historical fiction for young adults.
Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 13; read yourself: 12 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: I enjoyed reading Blood On The Wind. It will take a patient young reader to enjoy it too. Ms. Bogue uses rich metaphors to create wonderful imagery in the reader's mind, such as "I soaked up the white man's way of speaking, like thirsty ground soaks up rain." The reader can really get caught up in Mollie's story and hope her Ute way of life does not disappear.Mollie, shows herself to be a heroine in the story as she perseveres and does not let her spirit get defeated. One realizes that all the good-heartedness of her Ute people will be carried on through her. Though her eyes, the reader learns some U.S. history and about how life was in the late 1800s.
Adult Reader Reaction: Though the story is fiction, it is based on a real incident and sheds light on a phase of our history that is seldom taught, read about, or discussed.
Pros: This is a good story. All ages can enjoy this book and get an appreciation for the Indian culture as it existed back in 1880. The author engages the reader immediately. Flying Horse Mollie, the narrator, provides the reader with graphic and believable descriptions of Indian tribal life and tradition. She is a great story teller and holds the reader’s attention to the very end. This book truly feeds your imagination.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. It is, first and foremost, a good story. It is well written. It is also an enjoyable and educational read. What more could one be looking for?
Educational Themes: This story is a historical thread in the tapestry that portrays the settling of the western states. It shows the clash of two cultures and in the Meeker Massacre, how cruel the “civilizing process” could be. The story is filled with issues and questions that beg to be considered.