Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Children's Book Week: Soldier Sister, Fly Home by Nancy Bo Flood

Synopsis: "A tender and gripping novel about family, identity, and loss.

Fourteen-year-old Tess is having a hard enough time understanding what it means to be part white and part Navajo, but now she's coping with her sister Gaby's announcement that she's going to enlist and fight in the Iraq war. Gaby's decision comes just weeks after the news that Lori Piestewa, a member of their community, is the first Native American woman in US history to die in combat, adding to Tess's stress and emotions. While Gaby is away, Tess reluctantly cares for her sister's semi-wild stallion, Blue, who will teach Tess how to deal with tragic loss and guide her own journey of self-discovery.

Lori Piestewa was a real-life soldier who was killed in Iraq and was a member of the Hopi tribe. Back matter includes further information about Piestewa as well as a note by author Nancy Bo Flood detailing her experiences living on the Navajo reservation. A pronunciation guide to all Navajo vocabulary used within the text is also included."

My Review: I picked this book up on a whim, and I am so glad that I did! This is a great story that hits on so many levels, emotions and current issues. In this book we follow a young Navajo girl who is biracial (white/Native American Navajo) who is really struggling to meld the parts of her life at a boarding school and her home on the reservation, she is trying to find just who she is and in the crucial time her sister enlists in the military just after a friend was killed in action (this character was based on a real life female Native American soldier killed in Iraq). This is a great coming of age story with diverse beliefs and traditions. I think it is important to be aware that there are prejudices against races that you don't hear about on the news and middle grade readers are at that age where they are starting to make the decision on who they will be and how they will treat others around them.
My Rating: I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this book when it first began but it just kept getting better and better.  I do have to admit that the ending was rather abrupt and I feel like I was left wondering but it does allow you to develop your own idea as to what happened.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!
Note: Recently I have found that the discussion (and honestly promoting and publishing) of diverse books has focused solely on gender and sexuality.  I think it is important to remember that Diverse Books also refers to books discussing lesser represented races, religions, beliefs, traditions, etc. So if you are looking for a diverse book to read, do not hesitate to pick this one up!


  1. I love children's books that inspire important conversations. I agree that diverse books should include more than just race, gender, and sexuality. I love books with disabled people in them.

    1. I don't often come across books with disabled characters, if you have any good recommendations I would love to hear them.