A few weeks ago, I met Pam in person at ALA. Here we are:
Earlier today, Pam tweeted frustration with an Indian Princess in a book she reviewed. I asked her for details and she pointed me to her review. I read her review, and decided to share part of it here, with the intent of telling you that you ought to follow Pam's blog. I'm very glad she's noting problematic content like that in There Will Be Lies, and today, in Tricia Stirling's When My Heart Was Wicked. Here's an excerpt of Pam's review, but DO GO READ all that she says. And check out the book covers she inserted at the bottom of her review. Such comparisons are fascinating.
Here's an excerpt of Pamela Penza's review of Tricia Stirling's When My Heart Was Wicked:
Lacy's also into science, which is pretty cool. She loves chemistry and how equations make the world work. Interestingly, she also believes in magic and casting spells, and is somewhat of an herbalist. She gathers herbs by the stream and reminisces about the magical things she could have learned from the Maidu people. Here's a wonderfully romanticized quote:
"Over two hundred years ago, the Maidu Indians lived right here along this creek in their houses made of bark. I think about them, the Maidu, and how much they knew about the natural world. Soap plant and sweet Indian potatoes, deer grass and yerba santa. They were immune to poison oak, so they cooked their bread in the leaves and wove the branches of the poison oak into baskets ... I wish a real live Maidu woman would come out of the bushes and teach me. We'd weave a basket to carry sorrow for all the old ways that are gone, and then another one to carry hope."
Well, my face is bruised from slamming my hands into it in frustration so many times. I am by no means an expert on indigenous peoples of California, or Maidu culture, or any of that, but it's just that fairy tale "wheeee magical Indians" concept that really grates on me...
Saying again, DO GO READ all that Pam wrote about the book. There's a lot to say about When My Heart Was Wicked. Published in 2015 by Scholastic, it is disappointing.