We are thrilled to welcome Marlene Carvell to readergirlz. Her beautiful novel, Sweetgrass Basket, is our November pick! Check out the our interview with Marlene, book party ideas themed around Sweetgrass Basket, and our Reach Out project idea--as well as the sweet soundtrack Marlene's chosen for the book--on readergirlz.com.
Here's a little about the book: "In prose poetry and alternating voices, Sweetgrass Basket tells the story of Mattie and Sarah Tarbell, two Mohawk sisters from upstate New York who are sent to an off-reservation school after the death of their mother. Subject to intimidation and corporal punishment, with little hope of contact with their father, the girls are taught menial tasks to prepare them for life as domestics. After Mattie is falsely accused of stealing, and subsequently runs away, Sarah feels helpless and alone. How Mattie and Sarah protect their culture, memories of family life, and their love for each other under this forced assimilation makes for a powerful, unforgettable historical novel." And the buzz...
"In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, it is an honor to spotlight Marlene Carvell's novel Sweetgrass Basket. In beautiful free verse, Marlene sensitively relays the struggles of two girls clinging to their Mohawk heritage in the midst of forced assimilation. This is a book that should be read and treasured." - Lorie Ann Grover, rgz co-founder
Winner: Jefferson Cup Award (2006) A Jane Addams Peace Honor Title CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book
IRA Children's Book Award Notable
IRA Notable Book for a Global Society
We are honored to have this wonderful author with us this month! Join us all month right here on the blog for discussions and mark your calendars a LIVE chat on Tuesday, November 24th at 6pm PST/9pm EST.
Happy November, readergirlz!
Welcome to readergirlz Marlene! Sweetgrass Basket was a beautiful read. We are all looking forward to talking to you this month!
Welcome, Marlene. I'm looking forward to the discussion of your book.
Thank you, readergirlz, for asking me to be part of this adventure. Encouraging a discussion of the role of young women in life and literature, both historically and in today’s world, is just my cup of tea. With 33 years of teaching experience, some of them at an all girls’ college (yes, I’m that old), I’ve had much opportunity to observe, interact with, and counsel young women. And the changes! Wow! Can you imagine that when I was about twenty-five years old and living in Texas, I was known to my doctor only as Mrs. Gerald Carvell. And five years before that when I became a married woman, I went to a local department store (in New York) to change my name on a charge account and watched as my card was destroyed and then told my husband had to reapply for me.
While conflicts in Sweetgrass Basket are primarily a result of heritage and not necessarily gender-based, Mattie and Sarah’s problems were certainly magnified by being female; they were expected to be submissive, not just because they were those “inferior” Indian children but also because they were young girls . . . and girls in the early 1900s, of any race, were subjected to pressures and expectations that limited their opportunities for personal growth.
So, hopefully we will have an interesting exchange of thoughts and observations. I am traveling this month but I promise I will check in regularly. Let the discussion begin!
What an inspired pick!!!!!!!
Welcome to readergirlz. Sweetgrass Basket is one of those haunting books that stays with you. I'm looking forward to the discussions this month!
Hi Marlene! Here's to strong individuals of either gender and any age!
Yes, this book does stay with you. Wonderfully!
Marlene, thank you so much for sharing that! The credit card incident sounds so preposterous today - how infuriating it must have been for you.
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