A Snake Falls to Earth
A Snake Falls to Earth
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Annotation: National Indie Bestseller National Book Award Longlist Minneapolis Star Tribune Best of the Year Publishers Weekly's Bes... more
Catalog Number: #309599
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 352
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-646-14092-3 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-0964-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-646-14092-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-0964-9
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A 16-year-old Lipan Apache girl from Texas and a cottonmouth person from the spirit world connect when both need help.When Nina was 9, her Great-Great-Grandmother Rosita told her a story in Spanish and Lipan Apache. Using dictionaries to painstakingly make sense of the garbled transcription app results, Nina uncovers a mysterious story about Rosita’s sighting of a fish girl in her well, long after the joined era when animal people still lived on Earth. Nina uploads her musings about her family’s stories to the St0ryte11er video platform. In the Reflecting World, innocent Oli, a cottonmouth snake person, reluctantly leaves home, settling down and befriending ancient toad Ami, two coyote sisters, and a hawk. Animal people can shift between their true and false (humanoid) forms and are able to visit Earth; Nina’s and Oli’s lives intertwine when he and his friends travel to Texas seeking help after learning that Ami is dying because the earthly population of his toad species faces extinction due to human environmental destruction. They in turn help Nina with the suspicious man lurking near her Grandma’s home, an impending tornado, and her Grandma’s unexplained illness whenever she leaves her land. Little Badger (Lipan Apache) alternates between two distinct, well-realized voices—Nina’s third-person and Oli’s first-person perspectives—highlighting critical issues of language revitalization and climate change. The story leads readers through two richly constructed worlds using a style that evokes the timeless feeling of listening to traditional oral storytelling.A coming-of-age story that beautifully combines tradition and technology for modern audiences. (Fantasy. 12-18)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A 16-year-old Lipan Apache girl from Texas and a cottonmouth person from the spirit world connect when both need help.When Nina was 9, her Great-Great-Grandmother Rosita told her a story in Spanish and Lipan Apache. Using dictionaries to painstakingly make sense of the garbled transcription app results, Nina uncovers a mysterious story about Rosita’s sighting of a fish girl in her well, long after the joined era when animal people still lived on Earth. Nina uploads her musings about her family’s stories to the St0ryte11er video platform. In the Reflecting World, innocent Oli, a cottonmouth snake person, reluctantly leaves home, settling down and befriending ancient toad Ami, two coyote sisters, and a hawk. Animal people can shift between their true and false (humanoid) forms and are able to visit Earth; Nina’s and Oli’s lives intertwine when he and his friends travel to Texas seeking help after learning that Ami is dying because the earthly population of his toad species faces extinction due to human environmental destruction. They in turn help Nina with the suspicious man lurking near her Grandma’s home, an impending tornado, and her Grandma’s unexplained illness whenever she leaves her land. Little Badger (Lipan Apache) alternates between two distinct, well-realized voices—Nina’s third-person and Oli’s first-person perspectives—highlighting critical issues of language revitalization and climate change. The story leads readers through two richly constructed worlds using a style that evokes the timeless feeling of listening to traditional oral storytelling.A coming-of-age story that beautifully combines tradition and technology for modern audiences. (Fantasy. 12-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Before nine-year-old Nina's great-great grandmother Rosita passes, she dictates a mysterious story in Lipan (partly lost in translation) about a fish girl in a well, which Nina is unable to forget as she grows into her teens. Meanwhile, in the Reflecting World (the land of spirits and monsters), Oli cottonmouth snake boy venturing out into the world alone for the first time, making enemies with other animal people but also friends in what seems like equal measure. What Nina and Oli don't know is that their lives are about to converge when Oli learns his toad friend, Ami, is dying. His species is on the verge of extinction on Earth (which is inextricably linked to their world) due to, no surprise, environmental destruction caused by humans. While on Earth, Oli and his friends help Nina as her world becomes more precarious, answering the questions she has for so long wondered about. Little Badger's sophomore novel in the manner of traditional Lipan Apache storytelling is just as unique and enchanting as Elatsoe (2020), and it's sure to garner her an even broader readership. Nina's third-person perspective is beautifully ruminative compared to Oli's faster first-person point of view, but it's the writing on the whole that resonates most, singing like poetry with lyrical, literary wisdom. Magical, stunning, and wholly original.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12

National Indie Bestseller
National Book Award Longlist
Minneapolis Star Tribune Best of the Year
Publishers Weekly's Best of the Year
Kirkus Reviews' Best the Year
Apple's Best of the Year
Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
New York Public Library's Best of the Year
Autostraddle's Best Queer Books of the Year


"Draws on her scientific training and tribal storytelling to weave a spellbinding tale."—Texas Monthly

"Little Badger's new genre-bending narrative draws on her heritage and the tradition of story-telling that has informed her worldview."—TIME

"Undeniably charming."—Tor.com

★ "Evokes the timeless feeling of listening to traditional oral storytelling."—Kirkus (starred)

★ "Fun, imaginative, and deeply immersive, this story will be long in the minds of readers."—Publishers Weekly (starred)

★ "Magical, stunning, and wholly original."—Booklist (starred)

"A highly descriptive story which absorbs the audience into its world, readers will become invested in reading until the very end."—School Library Connection

Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She's always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.

Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he's been cast from home. He's found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli's best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven't been in centuries.

And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

A Snake Falls to Earth is a breathtaking work of Indigenous futurism. Darcie Little Badger draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure to weave another unforgettable tale of monsters, magic, and family. It is not to be missed.


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