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Snowbound in Hidden Valley by Holly Wilson
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Snowbound in Hidden Valley (edition 1971)

by Holly Wilson

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461251,994 (3.88)1
Member:missylc
Title:Snowbound in Hidden Valley
Authors:Holly Wilson
Info:Julian Messner (1971), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
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Tags:elementary, read, children's, fiction, snow

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Snowbound in Hidden Valley by Holly Wilson

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Out of print, unfortunately, but still available in used book outlets. This is one of the best books I remember from my early years -- I was reminded of it in conversation with a friend and hunted down a used copy. I am very surprised how vivid the book is after decades -- this is a brightly told story, with great characters and a believable young girl that I remember being able to easily identify with. The narrative itself, the characters and the plot are all excellent and, frankly, a little more complex than most YA books in recent years.
The story takes place in Henry's Bend, a small town in Michigan, and while the background theme is of social prejudice that identifies the wrong person for a crime, the real story is of the friendship between an Irish girl, Jo Shannon, and Onata, a Chippewa. The story interweaves, subtly and realistically, issues of property, heritage, cultural differences, and uses Jo's ability to question things and work through her own -- and her friends' -- presumptions in order to live out adventures -- a fire, a blizzard, shooting a gun (almost) and becoming an honorary part of a Chippewa family.
That this story was written in 1957 is quite incredible -- it really is an exploration of Anglo and Indian children trying to understand each other's worlds, and manages to do so without getting heavy-handed and without sacrificing a really terrific adventure story where two young girls are shown to be independent, creative, and tough-minded about things that really count.
The author, Holly Wilson, wrote a few other books; she can also be searched on the internet under Helen Finnegan Wilson. ( )
  bjellis | Apr 12, 2014 |
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