Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She’s there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There’s a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration.
Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn’t go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian’s family knows that he’ll protect them too.
Told in verse inspired by oral storytelling, and written by the U.S.'s foremost indigenous children's author, this novel about the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the ways Malian’s community has cared for one another through plagues of the past, and how they keep caring for one another today.
"Bruchac (Abenaki) tenderly braids traditional Wabanaki stories and, via Malian’s family history, stories of atrocities visited on Native nations into Malian’s lockdown experience. As early spring turns to summer and Malsum makes himself part of the family, she turns these stories into a school presentation, a process that helps her realize that, like her grandparents and the big dog, she’s 'a rez dog too.' Hidden throughout this moving novel in verse, old stories are discovered like buried treasures." — Kirkus Reviews
|Recommended Age||9 - 12|
|Publication Date||Jun 8, 2021|