Nutaaq and her older sister, Aaluk, are on a great journey, sailing from their Iñupiaq village in Alaska to the annual trade fair further north. There, a handsome young Siberian Inuit wearing a string
Nutaaq and her older sister, Aaluk, are on a great journey, sailing from their Iñupiaq village in Alaska to the annual trade fair further north. There, a handsome young Siberian Inuit wearing a string of cobalt blue beads watches Aaluk the way a wolf watches a caribou. Soon his actions — and other events more horrible than Nutaaq could ever imagine — threaten to shatter her world.
Seventy years later, Nutaaq's great—granddaughter, Blessing, is on her own journey, running from the wreckage of her life in Anchorage to live in a remote Arctic village with a grandmother she barely remembers. In her new home, unfriendly girls whisper in a language she can't understand, and Blessing feels like an outsider among her own people. Until she finds a cobalt blue bead — Nutaaq's bead—in her grandmother's sewing tin. The events this discovery triggers reveal the power of family and heritage to heal, despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
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Debby Dahl Edwardson is the acclaimed author of three books for young readers: Blessing's Bead; My Name Is Not Easy, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the picture book Whale Snow. She married into and has lived for more than thirty years among the Inupiat people of Alaska, of which she says, "It is not the culture I was not born into but it is the one I belong to, the one that has become home to me as a human being and as an artist." She lives in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost community on the North American continent, with her husband.
Nasugraq Rainey Hopson is an artist, writer, and teacher, currently working on a forthcoming novel. Tribally enrolled Iñupiaq, she describes the goal of all her work as "creating things for others to appreciate and understand our unique Indigenous experience and . . . that our people can see themselves reflected in." She lives in Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska. Visit her website at https://www.nasugraqhopson.com.
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Key Selling Points
Now back in print and in paperback for the first time!
Recognized as a Top Ten First Novel and Top Ten Historical Fiction title by Booklist magazine
Its themes of plague, recovery, resilience, and reconnection make it a remarkably timely read.
Debby Dahl Edwardson has lived within the Iñupiaq community she writes about for more than four decades.
Edwardson's subsequent book, My Name Is Not Easy, was nominated for the National Book Award
Perfect for history—literature crossover units
Now in paperback: the acclaimed middle—grade novel following two generations of Iñupiaq girls in Alaska, which the Washington Post praised as "a rare and beautiful book."
978—162014—839—6 INDIAN NO MORE $18.95
978—147781—629—5 MY NAME IS NOT EASY $9.99
978—054541—731—0 IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE $10.99
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? Booklist's Top Ten Historical Novels for Youth
? Booklist's Top Ten First Novels for Youth
? ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
? IRA Notable Books for a Global Society
? Junior Library Guild selection
? Virginia Reader's Choice selection
"Concrete and symbolic references to the transforming power of language, names, and
stories link the two narratives, but it's the Nutaaqs' rhythmic, indelible voices — both as
steady and elemental as the beat of a drum or a heart — that will move readers most. A
unique, powerful debut."
— Booklist, starred review
"Atmospheric yet restrained, this is a moving account of what's changed and what
remains in Inupiaq life."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The community's sharing of a whale adds color, as do the authentic imagery, details,
and language that pervade this memorable story."
— Horn Book
"Blessing makes an emotional journey of self—discovery, as Edwardson weaves a
fascinating portrait of a family's rich history."
— Publishers Weekly
"This unique and fascinating tale is told in an evocative voice that includes Village
English, school English, Native language, and colloquialisms. "
— School Library Journal
"Edwardson treads an elegant line in her perspective: Blessing is both an
insiderIñupiaq — and an outsider still learning exactly what that means. It's a perspective
that allows any reader in, and they'll learn much about the power of stories and names
and how to use them both."
— Kirkus Reviews
"This heartwarming story is richly told in the tradition of storytelling its characters grow
up in and come to love."
— ALAN Online