for Powwow Day
by Traci Sorell
and Madelyn Goodnight
On the day of the tribal powwow, everything feels different for River—and not in a good way. She’s still recovering from a recent illness, presumably cancer, and trying to regain her energy. She tries to dance Grand Entry and then the intertribal dance, but she “can’t feel the drum’s heartbeat” like she usually does. Worst of all, she can’t participate in the jingle dance. It’s the healing dance, the one she needs the most. Seeing her so downhearted, River’s community steps up. Her friend Dawn offers to dance for her, and as River watches the girls in their beautiful dresses dancing “for the Creator, the ancestors, their families, and everyone’s health” she feels a new confidence. Standing tall, feeling the beat of the drum in her body, she realizes: “I will join them at the next powwow. I will dance again.” This hopeful story is distinctive in its focus: not on the details of the powwow itself but on one girl’s deep desire to be strong enough to dance. Her dual feelings of excitement and disappointment will resonate with young readers. River’s specific tribal affiliation is not named in a story that concludes with information about powwows. Intricate details of Native American regalia are on view in bright, lively digital illustrations. Highly Commended, 2023 Charlotte Zolotow Award ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center (Ages 4-8)
CCBC Choices 2023. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2023. Used with permission.
In this uplifting, contemporary Native American story, River is recovering from illness and can't dance at the powwow this year. Will she ever dance again?
River wants so badly to dance at powwow day as she does every year. In this uplifting and contemporary picture book perfect for beginning readers, follow River's journey from feeling isolated after an illness to learning the healing power of community.
Additional information explains the history and functions of powwows, which are commonplace across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors. Author Traci Sorell is a member of the Cherokee Nation, and illustrator Madelyn Goodnight is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.