From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5?This photo essay offers a glimpse into the life of an Anishinabe family as they spend a summer on the powwow trail. Throughout the year, the Anishinabe (also known as Ojibway or Chippewa) hold various feasts and ceremonies, and during the summer, some families attend as many as 12 powwows, enjoying the singing, dancing, and visiting with friends and relatives. Using the motif of the circle of life, the author compares events experienced by the Downwind family with the four seasons. She attempts to invoke an understanding of Indian ways by asking readers to compare their own family rituals (attending church, summering at a cabin, or participating in sports) with the Native tradition of the powwow. Unfortunately, the writing style is uneven, the voice jumping from second to first to third person. The photographs, while colorful, are dark and often without a clear focus. George Ancona's Powwow (Harcourt, 1993) offers more vibrant photos and a better overview of the subject, and Sandra King's Shannon: An Ojibway Dancer (Lerner, 1993) is a more accessible look at modern Indian life. Nevertheless, in areas with high demand, Rendon's title will serve as an additional purchase.?Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-6. Rendon follows the Downwind family (members of the Anishinabe tribe in northern Minnesota) one summer as they attend a series of weekend powwows. This contemporary family--including parents Sharyl and Windy and their five natural children and five foster children--helps pass on its heritage by participating in these festivals, which include singing, dancing, visiting relatives, and celebrating what Native Americans refer to as the circle of life. The author, who is also Anishinabe, is careful to explain the Native American view of life cycles, especially as it corresponds to the seasons. She also details how modern powwows developed from these ancient cyclical observances. Clear, informative photographs help clarify the text and leave readers with the sense that they have accompanied the Downwinds. An ideal choice for classroom units on contemporary Native American life, this will also be popular with browsers. Kay Weisman