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A WOMAN OF HER TRIBE

Book by Margaret A. Robinson
This Review by rdude =)

rdude's rating: 2 (on a scale of 1-10)

A Women of Her Tribe is about a Nootka Native American girl named Annette. Annette isn't fully Nootka, however. Her father is was a Nootka, though her mother is English. Annette has spent her entire life in her father's village, living with her mother and her godmother, "Grammaw". But all that changes when Annette wins a scholarship to a private school. She has to leave her good friends, Florence and Kiki (who is actually a boy), and Grammaw to go live in a city and go to the private school, St. John's Academy. Annette has to learn the rules of her new world. The first peculiarity she feels is the overusage of the phrase "hurry up". In the Nootka language, there is no word or phrase that means hurry up, but she hears that phrase at least three times on her first day at school. Though she has trouble making friends because of a girl named Dawn who makes fun of her, Annette does make one good friend, Katie. When she is unable to give a presentation about the Nootka in front of her class, Katie and Miss Doud, the anthropology teacher, support Annette. Annette's self-esteem also rises when she makes the field hockey team.

Annette returns to the Nootka village for winter break. Sadly, she doesn't feel like she fits in anymore. While she has been gone, Kiki and Florence have become boyfriend and girlfriend, which causes a gap between Annette and Florence to appear. Annette wants to wait until she is at least 30 to have a child, but Florence wants to have a kid ASAP. This is another thing that widens the gap between Florence and Annette. Grammaw tells Annette of an initiation rite that girls Annette's age used to go through in the Nootka tribe. The Nootka girls would train for this rite by running and jogging daily. Once she got her first period, a girl would be taken out on a boat, so far away from shore that it could not be seen. She would then jump into the water naked, and swim to shore. Once she reached the shore, if she did, she would be a woman in the eyes of the tribe. Annette wants to go through this initiation rite, but cannot swim since it is winter. She decides to run instead.

Annette trains for the run by jogging on the beach. Her mother sends her a hooded red sweat suit for Christmas. When she is finally ready for the run, Annette asks Grammaw exactly how long the swim was. Though Grammaw doesn't tell her, Annette figures out the answer: "farther than you thought you could go." So, does Annette do the run, and how long does she run? Is she succesful? Read the book and find out yourself!


Personally, I believe that this book is boring. It seems as if Robinson was suddenly presented with a deadline for the final draft when she was only half done, and had to rush to finish the book. The plot, if there is one, is woefully incomplete. The conflict seems to disappear while the complications are still developing. Fortunately, the book is saved since the conflict is replaced by another conflict almost immediately. Though this new conflict does stay for a while longer, very important complications are not resolved. I didn't realize that I was reading the climax until about 4 pages into it. Since the book is only 148 pages, I read it quickly even though I was bored. In fact, I read it faster than I would have read most 150 page books, so I would say this book is a fast read. I recommend this book to people who want something boring but fast to read and easy to do a book report on. But if you truly like this book, I recommend reading Chernowitz! by Fran Arrick, which is a book about a boy who suffers anti-Semitic abuse.

rdude's rating: 2 (on a scale of 1-10)

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