Booklist - Runs with Courage
Booklist (Oct 2016)
Four Winds is a 10-year-old Lakota girl who must find courage after being forced to leave her tiospaye, family community, and attend a boarding school. The novel is set in 1880, and it is evident to the reader from the beginning that white settlers have displaced and coerced the Lakota people. Four Winds quickly, and painfully, learns that the boarding school has no interest in preserving her culture. Readers and educators should start with the appended author’s note, which provides brief historical context for this story, in order to better understand the complexity of boarding-school narratives within Native American culture. Although Wolf’s characters endure a variety of violence, such as being physically punished for speaking their native tongue, they also refuse to forget their Lakota traditions. Their resilience and resistance is apparent throughout this dark yet moving piece of historical fiction. Consider pairing with Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer’s I Am Not a Number (2016) or Nancy Bo Flood’s Soldier Sister, Fly Home (2016).