I have four classes this semester, which means I have mucho reading and not all of it can be exciting as Firekeeper’s Daughter. I’m reading this for Children’s Book Publishing, so I was definitely paying attention to details like the icons used to separate sections, the cover design, and the jacket summary.
And then I saw my professor post that we should be taking those things into consideration and I felt supa smart since I did it on my own. Hehehe.
Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m smart, or if I’m just older than everyone in my class. I’ll find out on Tuesday when I go onto campus for the first time this semester. 😭
Luckily I have two days off after that for Yom Kippur so I can catch up on the hard readings and posts. Meh.
I appreciated being assigned a work with female indigenous American representation! I always wished I could read more about native cultures and I hated only knowing the tragedies of America’s historical development (although those stories are absolutely valid and should continue to be told!) without getting a chance to hear from actual Native American content creators. It always seemed that producers who weren’t indigenous people were defining their culture as either a neverending tragedy or a romanticized mystic that could be appropriated at will.
I love Firekeeper’s Daughter because I don’t feel like I’m being forcefed the same history again, as if the theft of land is the only reason a work by or about an indigenous person can circulate. This novel gives me a nuanced view of Native American life, with information and language and customs I can learn about without feeling like I’m imposing on something sacred. Not to mention themes of science, crime, and romance! Yes, I think romance is very valuable to young readers! 🙂
I watched Wind River (a movie about a murder on an Indian reservation in Wyoming) last night and I asked myself questions like: Who wrote/directed this movie? Are they white or Native? Which parts of the story were based on true events? Why are white people the main heroes, while the indigenous characters remain secondary or tertiary characters? How are the indigenous characters represented compared to the white characters? Who is this movie made for? How many native American people are involved in this film’s production besides the actors?
Sometimes the answers to these types of questions suck, but I can never stop thinking this way.
Of course, I am still learning about the publishing field, and I ask myself similar questions about people working behind-the-scenes in every department at every job in every field ever. I would love to see not just authors and artists represented, but know that editors, marketers, and designers are diverse as well. Especially because this is children’s book publishing! There are so many different kinds of children and I’d love for them all to feel seen. I can’t say that I ever felt seen growing up, but I think we can change that in generations to come.
I don’t want to give anything away about this book, so do yourself a favor and read it so we can talk about it!!!!!
I hope to see more works like this in the future! Multicultural women… Unite to make great art please!