Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Art Coulson's THE CREATOR'S GAME: A STORY OF BAAGA'ADOWE/LACROSSE
Coulson has a way with words. English ones, and Ojibwe ones, too, as he tells this story about Travis, a sixth grade Ojibwe boy who is starting out playing lacrosse.
Set in the present day, Travis lives with his mom and grandmother. He's struggling with the game and bummed each day after practice. But his grandma has confidence in him.
So does his grandfather, who passed away some time back, but comes to Travis each night. His grandfather was a strong and swift lacrosse player that everyone called Hummingbird.
There's a terrific blend here. Coulson's storytelling delivers nuggets of info about the ways that Ojibwe people play lacrosse, and, the way that Cherokee's play it.
Oh yeah--Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Dream Country figures in the story, too.
Perfectly paced, The Creator's Game is a terrific book. I think I'll give my copy to the Pima boys around the corner. I suspect they'll like it, and I'm going to send a librarian a link to this review. Just a few days ago, she wrote to me, asking for recommendations for a 4th grade reluctant reader. I suggested Joe Bruchac's Children of the Longhouse, which coincidentally, Coulson includes in his list of books for further reading.
Illustrated by Robert DesJarlait, The Creator's Game is published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. You can get a copy from Birchbark Books. And check out Indian Country Today's interview with Coulson.