cover image Eagle Song

Eagle Song

Joseph Bruchac. Dial Books, $14.99 (80pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1918-7

It's a shock for fourth-grader Danny Bigtree to move to Brooklyn from his Mohawk Nation reservation: suddenly he has no friends, and his classmates taunt him, asking him where his war pony is and telling him to go home to his teepee. After his charismatic father makes a class visit to talk about Iroquois culture, his peers begin to warm up to him. Bruchac, author of numerous books with Native American themes, weaves into the story the legend of the great peacemaker Aionwahta, who united five warring Indian nations into the Iroquois Confederacy and turned an enemy into an ally. Can Danny be, like Aionwahta, an agent of peace, and find a way to transform the school bully into a friend? This appealing portrayal of a strong family offers an unromanticized view of Native American culture, and a history lesson about the Iroquois Confederacy; it also gives a subtle lesson in the meaning of daily courage. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-9. (Mar.)