Red Bird Danced

by Dawn Quigley

On Sale: 06/04/2024

Red Bird Danced

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Red Bird Danced

by Dawn Quigley

On Sale: 06/04/2024


About the Book

With lyrical verse and powerful emotion, Dawn Quigley (Ojibwe) tells the story of urban Native kids who find strength in connection with those who came before and in the hope that lets them take flight.

Ariel and Tomah have lived in the city’s intertribal housing complex all their lives. But for both of them, this Dagwaagin (Autumn) season is different than any before.

From his bench outside the front door of his building, Tomah watches his community move around him. He is better at making people laugh than he is at schoolwork, but often it feels like his neighbor Ariel is the only one who really sees him, even in her sadness. 

Ariel has always danced ballet because of her Auntie Bineshiinh and loves the way dance makes her feet hover above the ground like a bird. But ever since Auntie went missing, Ariel’s dancing doesn’t feel like flying.

As the seasons change and the cold of winter gives way to spring’s promise, Ariel and Tomah begin to change too as they learn to share the rhythms and stories they carry within themselves.

This first middle grade novel by Dawn Quigley is a tour de force. She is known for her American Indian Youth Literature Award–winning Jo Jo Makoons chapter book series and young adult novel Apple in the Middle.

Give Red Bird Danced to readers who love Jasmine Warga and Christine Day!

Critical Praise

"Heartbreaking yet heartening. Even as the tweens confront personal challenges, they remain committed to bettering their surroundings in a moving narrative that highlights issues relating to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis while celebrating the healing power of art—including dance, folklore, music, and poetry—and the solace one can find in connecting with one’s heritage." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A captivating, exquisitely penned story of hope and survival." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Powerful...words tighten, trail, or scatter across otherwise barren pages, giving distinct personalities to the dual narrators while also underscoring the deep grief their communities are experiencing. Quigley (of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe) walks a delicate line between terrible sorrow and tentative hope." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 An impactful story about discovering how to declare yourself proudly and bring awareness to your community; this opens an important window into the modern-day life of Native American culture that has yet to be fully explored thoroughly in middle grade ­literature. — School Library Journal (starred review)

With this excellent choice for reluctant readers and fans of Anna Rose Johnson's The Star That Always Stays (2022), Quigley seems to have carefully and painstakingly placed every word on the page in such a way that, like the red bird, the entire novel spreads its wings and dances. — Booklist (starred review)


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063223622
  • ISBN 10: 0063223627
  • Imprint: Heartdrum
  • On Sale: 06/04/2024
  • Pages: 176
  • List Price:23.99 CAD
  • Ages: 8 to 12
  • BISAC1 : JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / Native American
  • BISAC2 : JUVENILE FICTION / Lifestyles / City & Town Life
  • BISAC3 : JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts / Dance
  • BISAC4 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Adolescence
  • BISAC5 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Homelessness & Poverty

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