By Charlene Willing McManis & Traci Sorell
AR level: 4.4
AR points: 4.0
Word count: 24,536
I suggest: 3rd grade+
While many Americans have had some education about the wrongful actions of the U.S. government toward Native American tribes for the past few centuries, I believe many of us don’t realize how recent some of that behavior is.
In this middle grade novel, Indian No More, we learn just how devastating a situation can be when the American government suddenly decides to no longer recognize a tribe. This tale of both heartbreak and resilience will educate a whole new generation of young people, even as main character Regina captivates the audience with her story, which is inspired by the author’s own experience.
This is a story that will show you and your child how far we’ve come–and how much further we can all go…together.
Here is the description from the publisher:
When Regina’s Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.
Regina Petit’s family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde Tribe’s reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. Her biggest worry is that Sasquatch may actually exist out in the forest. But when the federal government enacts a law that says Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes “Indian no more” overnight—even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.
Now that they’ve been forced from their homeland, Regina’s father signs the family up for the federal Indian Relocation Program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place. She’s never met kids of other races, and they’ve never met a real Indian. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends.
Meanwhile, her father believes that if he works hard, their family will be treated just like white Americans. But it’s not that easy. It’s 1957 during the Civil Rights era, and the family struggles without their tribal community and land. At least Regina has her grandmother, Chich, and her stories. At least they are all together.
In this moving middle-grade novel drawing upon Umpqua author Charlene Willing McManis’s own tribal history, Regina must find out: Who is Regina Petit? Is she Indian, American, or both? And will she and her family ever be okay?