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Olsen, Sylvia. White girl.

OLSEN, Sylvia. White girl. Sono Nis, dist. by Orca. 234p. c2004. 1-55039-147-X. $8.95. JS

Fourteen-year-old Josie, with her white-blond hair and light blue eyes, is the last person you'd expect to see on an Indian reserve, much less living there. Still, here she is. Her mom has married Martin, an Indian, and they've moved to his house on the reserve. Now, they are to be a family: Josie, her mom, Martin, and Luke, her stepbrother. Although her mother chooses to hide out in the house, tuning out what she feels by tuning into TV, the school year is starting and Josie must face her awkward situation. Luckily, it isn't long before she meets Rosie, and the two girls become friends. Rosie helps Josie learn about the reserve and the people, and she helps the outsider gain a sense of belonging. As Josie settles in, she meets Martin's mother, who becomes an instant grandmother to her. She also meets Martin's brother, Arnie, who hates anyone white. Finally, she meets Zeb Prince, an older Indian boy who helps Josie sort through her thoughts and feelings as she learns important lessons about her family, her community, and herself.

Sylvia Olsen's novel is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever felt out of place. It may be appropriate for mature middle school readers, but the story does delve deeply into themes of suicide and racism. This would be a solid addition to most library collections. Heidi Hauser Green, Pittsburgh, PA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Author:Green, Heidi Hauser
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 2005
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