This fictional book teaches the reader that what we think is a handicap can be the most beneficial to a group of people or society and can contribute as much or more than what we think. Walnut, a young American Indian boy who is coming of age, cannot see very well to pass his test to become a man due to his poor eyesight. Because his eyesight is poor, he learns to use his ears as his eyes which helps him to become a man. Because he can do this, he is able to help other people. He learns to be confident and finds a way to overcome his handicap.
The best adolescent fiction offers more than an escape from teenage turmoil; it instructs as it entertains, giving young readers a view into lives--fictional though they may be--outside their own. Without sentimentality or preachiness but with clear awareness of this power, Michael Dorris tells the story of Walnut, a young Native American boy. Because Walnut can't see well, he has difficulty meeting the challenges, especially feats of skill with bow and arrow, that prove he is ready to receive a new name and become an adult. When a sympathetic uncle invents a new contest to "see what can't be seen," the boy's other senses bring success and earn him the name Sees Behind Trees. Dorris could easily stop there, but he nudges the youngster onward through a series of trials that show adulthood is about more than getting there. (Ages 8 and up)
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:36 -0400)