3 out of 4 stars
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I read Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon, and I am proud to say that I was pleasantly surprised. This is a book written by an intelligent author who appears to have actually done their research. I decided to look up a few points made in the story that peaked my curiosity. I was pleased to find it was true.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 because while it was well written, I believe more details could have been used for the other characters during their struggles. I especially enjoyed the detail given during Sarah's travel to the past while she was lost in the woods. I believe Sarah is a strong and courageous young woman. She is written in a way that creates a character young women can both relate to and admire. A character strengthened with each trail. She is cautious about opening up to her Grandfather. She has been shuffled around, seemingly out of place wherever she goes.
This story is the coming of age tale of Sarah. A young woman who loses her Mom at a young age and finds out that she has extended family, her Mom's parents, that she never knew. Her Stepdad leaves on a trip to Europe for work and ships her across the country. Originally it was planned for her to stay with her Grandmother, Ruth. Instead, she ends up at her Grandfather's front door, dripping wet during a thunderstorm. Her Grandmother having decided that Sarah was far too troubled, dropped her off without looking back. With no other choice Sarah ends up going on a camping trip with Tom. Facing the wilds of the Olympic peninsula is not what she had in mind.
The depiction of the tools and colorful writing allowed me to transfer myself into the long canoe with Strong Heart on her way to the place where people were. I would have enjoyed learning more about her Grandfather Tom. He seems like a good man who was thrust into an unfamiliar situation.
I believe this book was professionally edited, and I found few errors. This book would most likely appeal to young adults. Most notably I believe young readers of Native heritage would appreciate the positive representation of their culture. This book highlights some of the struggles faced by Native people. Their struggle to retain control of their lands and way of life.
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