Thursday, February 26, 2015

Arilla Sun Down (review)

Arilla Sun Down
Author: Virginia Hamilton
Publisher: Open Road Media Teen & Tween (November 11, 2014)
Digital review copy courtesy of publisher via NetGalley

Twelve year old Arilla is part Native American and part African American, struggling to find her place in the world and pulled in various directions by her older brother, her parents and her friends. An early theme is how she has to sneak out to be herself, whether to sled or skate or simply to find time to herself. Eventually though, a crisis allows her to find herself in the open, and earns her the name Arilla Sun Down, and the sense of identity she had longed for.

This is a challenging book to read. The language and idiom present the first challenge, but will be more accessible to some than others. In addition, the book is told non-chronologically, which can be challenging as well. Ultimately, if a young reader finds a connection with Arilla, this can be a very satisfying book, but for others it might be frustrating.

Three stars out of five.

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