Apple in the Middle
Apple in the Middle
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Annotation: A coming-of-age novel with an unexpected look at what happens when two cultures collide and our only tour guide is a quirky, offbeat outcast.
Catalog Number: #184205
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 229 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-946163-07-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-946163-07-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018941180
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 6 Up This coming-of-age debut tackles what it means to belong. Apple is quirky, blurts things out to classmates, pretends to be a foreign exchange student, and feels responsible for her mother's death. She is Native, living with her nonindigenous family. Her dad and stepmom decide to send her to Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation to stay with her grandparents, strangers to her, over the summer. Apple's cousin Junior becomes her protector, and her cousin Nezzie, her first best friend. Apple is threatened by Karl, a man who knew her mother growing up and does not think she is "Indian" enough. The prologue sets readers up for a scene in which Karl's son chases her into an open grave, where she finally realizes that her mother has been with her all along. An accident at the end of the book challenges the protagonist to figure out her own misgivings and how she can bridge both worlds. Quigley shares the dynamics of reservation lifephrases, puckered lips to point, and extended families with aunties and cousinswith authenticity and warmth. The author drops nuggets of Native history and challenges readers to learn more. VERDICT A strong story with themes that resonate with many adolescents as they try to figure out who they are in life. Highly recommended. Amy Zembroski, Indian Community School, Franklin, WI
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School Library Journal Starred Review (9/1/18)
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
Word Count: 59,559
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 6-8
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 506300 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 760L

Apple Starkington turned her back on her Native American heritage the moment she was called a prairie nigger-a racial slur for someone of white and Indian descendance-not that she really even knows how to be an Indian in the first place. Too bad the white world doesn't accept her either. After her wealthy father gives her the boot one summer, Apple reluctantly agrees to visit her Native American relatives on the Turtle Mountain (North Dakota) Indian Reservation for the first time. It should have been easy, except that she makes all kinds of mistakes as she deals with the culture shock of Indian customs and the Native Michif language, while trying to find a connection to her dead mother. She also has to deal with a vengeful Indian man, Karl, who has a violent, granite-sized chip on his shoulder because he loved her mother in high school but now hates Apple because her mom married a white man. As Apple meets her Indian relatives this summer, she finds that she just may have found a place to belong. One by one, each character-ranging from age five to eighty-five-teaches her, through wit and wisdom, what it means to be a Native person, but also to be a human being while finding her place in the world. Apple shatters Indian stereotypes and learns what it means to find her place in a world divided by color.

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