Apple is a high school student who lives in MInnetonka, Minnesota. Her father is wealthy doctor and they live in a gated community. Her mother, who was Native American, died at childbirth. Apple has never met her grandparents from the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe reservation. However, her father wants her to spend the summer with them for the first time. It will be a summer that helps Apple come of age and understand her heritage and Native American culture.
When Apple's mother was dying, she named her baby Apple because she was the "apple of her eye." It is also the slang name for a native person who lives in the "white world" where they are "red on the outside but white in the middle". Facing racial slurs from classmates and never feeling like she fits in plague Apple. She is quirky, blurts out crazy thoughts, and doesn't feel content in her life. Her summer in North Dakota is a turning point for her.
This book is funny and heartwarming. It deals with death, disappointment and mystical situations. I felt like I was discovering Apple's heritage along with her. It is about a high school student but could also be read by upper elementary and middle school students. I also loved this book because of the connections I have with Minnesota and especially the Turtle Mountain area since I taught for two years in a town near that area. The town in this story appears to be fiction but it is near the town of Belcourt.
We don't have many books like this and so I hope that it can be promoted and read in Minnesota and North Dakota schools. NDSU press published this book. I hope they encourage Dawn Quigley to write a sequel or more books!
I rate it a 5 out of 4! I couldn't put it down.
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: North Dakota State University Press; (August 2, 2018)