Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review and Discussion of Naya Nuki by Kenneth Thomasma

Synopsis: "After being taken prisoner by an enemy tribe, a Shoshoni girl escapes and makes a thousand-mile journey through the wilderness in search of her own people."

My Review: I read this book years ago and really enjoyed it and all of Thomasma's books, he creates a thrilling story that you can really immerse yourself into. Upon re-reading it now, years later, there were a couple little tiny issues that bothered me, some things were repeated several times that didn't need to be repeated. That said though, these books are clearly written for a younger audience and are prefect for them. Even with these extremely minor issues you can still completely connect with the character as she struggles on her journey.
My Rating: While there were a lot of repeated sentences and information throughout this book I never noticed it as a kid and didn't mind it now as an adult because the story and character are so fantastic.  This is definitely a book to have on your shelf and share with kids.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
The Impact on Me:
I remember my mom reading many of Thomasma's books out loud to me and my brother, especially when my brother was really into native americans and their history. The stories were fantastic and completely enthralling, but I think more than the books the author had a huge impact on me.
I believe it was my 5th grade year, I was one of 2 kids in our school invited to a writing seminar and event with Kenneth Thomasma.  It was a huge honor as only so many kids from the district were allowed to attend. It was nearly an all day event and should have been boring and exhausting for a kid that age to sit through but I was totally into it. He taught us so much about writing in general and also creative writing.  Towards the end we were given a writing prompt and an index card and told to write what happened next.  It is crazy but this was such a big event in my life that I still remember the prompt and a lot of what I wrote. 
The prompt was that you were with friends and family off trail skiing in the mountains when an avalanche occurs and everyone but yourself is swept away, down the back side of the mountain.  I filled every inch of that index card, and created a lot of suspense about the trees catching on my coat and seeing a clearing ahead thinking it was the main trail that led to the lodge but only finding a clearing, beginning to wonder if I was lost, etc. Several teachers narrowed down our submissions and then he read the best to the entire room and announced his best picks.  I won as one of his top picks and his comments really pushed me to keep writing and continue to inspire me to this day.
I now have many of his books autographed, and hope to have them all at some point and be able to share both his works and his guidance with Munchkin in the future.

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