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Stealing Indians
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About the Author

John Smelcer is the poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and the author of more than forty books, including the recent young adult novels Lone Wolves, Edge of Nowhere, and Savage Mountain (Leapfrog Press, 2013, 2014, 2015). He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and is now the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna. John holds degrees in anthropology and archaeology, linguistics, literature, and education. He also holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Binghamton University, and formerly chaired the Alaska Native Studies program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

His first novel, The Trap, was an American Library Association BBYA Top Ten Pick and a VOYA Top Shelf Selection. The Great Death was short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Award, and nominated for the National Book Award, the BookTrust Prize (England). His Alaska Native mythology books include The Raven and the Totem (introduced by Joseph Campbell). His short stories, poems, essays, and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, and he is winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation. John divides his time between a cabin in Talkeetna, the climbing capitol of Alaska, where he wrote much of Lone Wolves, and Kirksville Mo., where he is a visiting scholar in the Department of Communications Studies at Truman State University. Awards
John Smelcer is the winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation Lone Wolves was chosen for ALA's Amelia Bloomer book list.
Edge of Nowhere is on the Alaska Library Association's 2014 Battle of the Books list. The Great Death
- Nominated for the BookTrust Prize (England); Short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Book Award for Children's Literature.

John Smelcer is the poetry editor of Rosebud magazine and the author of more than forty books, including the recent young adult novels Lone Wolves, Edge of Nowhere, and Savage Mountain (Leapfrog Press, 2013, 2014, 2015). He is an Alaskan Native of the Ahtna tribe, and is now the last tribal member who reads and writes in Ahtna. John holds degrees in anthropology and archaeology, linguistics, literature, and education. He also holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Binghamton University, and formerly chaired the Alaska Native Studies program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel, The Trap, was an American Library Association BBYA Top Ten Pick and a VOYA Top Shelf Selection. The Great Death was short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Award, and nominated for the National Book Award, the BookTrust Prize (England). His Alaska Native mythology books include The Raven and the Totem (introduced by Joseph Campbell). His short stories, poems, essays, and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, and he is winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation. John divides his time between a cabin in Talkeetna, the climbing capitol of Alaska, where he wrote much of Lone Wolves, and Kirksville Mo., where he is a visiting scholar in the Department of Communications Studies at Truman State University. Awards John Smelcer is the winner of the 2004 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and of the 2004 Western Writers of America Award for Poetry for his collection Without Reservation Lone Wolves was chosen for ALA's Amelia Bloomer book list. Edge of Nowhere is on the Alaska Library Association's 2014 Battle of the Books list. The Great Death - Nominated for the BookTrust Prize (England); Short-listed for the 2011 William Allen White Book Award for Children's Literature.

Reviews

"Smelcer s anger about these stolen children is apparent but controlled, and he
provides a well-judged balance of horror and hope, with the friendship among his
protagonists giving the book heart and an opening to empathy." --Horn Book magazine, review by Roger Sutton

"A smooth, cadenced telling, and its mid-twentieth century setting offers a chilling reminder that such forced assimilation existed into recent times. The four protagonists are accessibly teen, which gives their plight an immediacy, and their small triumphs makes them easy to root forwhich is why the ending is heartbreaking even as it is painfully honest." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "[A] riveting work.... More than just a story of survival, Stealing Indians is focused on the changing, shifting, and even disappearing identities of the four young teens .... A commentary on colonialism and oppression, Stealing Indians moves beyond a survival tale by plumbing the depths of the teens psychology as they struggle forward in this new world. Ideal for anyone looking for a rich adventure story with depth and heart, Stealing Indians is a work that engages and challenges until the very end." --ForeWord Reviews
"


"Smelcer gives voice to four teens taken from their families and forced into Indian residential boarding schools in the mid-1950s. Thrown together by chance on their way to Wellington, a fictional institution likely based on the infamous Carlisle School, friendships are forged that later become lifesaving. The cost of surviving, and thereby losing their Native identity, changes all four students permanently and continues to affect current generations today. Smelcer tackles the reality of boarding school abuse and treatment, without graphic details of horrific happenings. There are also questions for discussion at the end." School Library Journal

"Smelcer s anger about these stolen children is apparent but controlled, and he
provides a well-judged balance of horror and hope, with the friendship among his
protagonists giving the book heart and an opening to empathy." --Horn Book magazine, review by Roger Sutton "A smooth, cadenced telling, and its mid-twentieth century setting offers a chilling reminder that such forced assimilation existed into recent times. The four protagonists are accessibly teen, which gives their plight an immediacy, and their small triumphs makes them easy to root forwhich is why the ending is heartbreaking even as it is painfully honest." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "[A] riveting work.... More than just a story of survival, Stealing Indians is focused on the changing, shifting, and even disappearing identities of the four young teens .... A commentary on colonialism and oppression, Stealing Indians moves beyond a survival tale by plumbing the depths of the teens psychology as they struggle forward in this new world. Ideal for anyone looking for a rich adventure story with depth and heart, Stealing Indians is a work that engages and challenges until the very end." --ForeWord Reviews
"


"Smelcer gives voice to four teens ... taken from their families and forced into Indian residential boarding schools in the mid-1950s. Thrown together by chance on their way to Wellington, a fictional institution likely based on the infamous Carlisle School, friendships are forged that later become lifesaving. ... The cost of surviving, and thereby losing their Native identity, changes all four students permanently and continues to affect current generations today. Smelcer tackles the reality of boarding school abuse and treatment, without graphic details of horrific happenings. There are also questions for discussion at the end." School Library Journal

"Smelcer's anger about these stolen children is apparent but controlled, and he
provides a well-judged balance of horror and hope, with the friendship among his
protagonists giving the book heart and an opening to empathy." --Horn Book magazine, review by Roger Sutton "A smooth, cadenced telling, and its mid-twentieth century setting offers a chilling reminder that such forced assimilation existed into recent times. The four protagonists are accessibly teen, which gives their plight an immediacy, and their small triumphs makes them easy to root for--which is why the ending is heartbreaking even as it is painfully honest." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "[A] riveting work.... More than just a story of survival, Stealing Indians is focused on the changing, shifting, and even disappearing identities of the four young teens .... A commentary on colonialism and oppression, Stealing Indians moves beyond a survival tale by plumbing the depths of the teens' psychology as they struggle forward in this new world. Ideal for anyone looking for a rich adventure story with depth and heart, Stealing Indians is a work that engages and challenges until the very end." --ForeWord Reviews

"Smelcer gives voice to four teens ... taken from their families and forced into Indian residential boarding schools in the mid-1950s. Thrown together by chance on their way to Wellington, a fictional institution likely based on the infamous Carlisle School, friendships are forged that later become lifesaving. ... The cost of surviving, and thereby losing their Native identity, changes all four students permanently and continues to affect current generations today. Smelcer tackles the reality of boarding school abuse and treatment, without graphic details of horrific happenings. There are also questions for discussion at the end." School Library Journal "Smelcer's anger about these stolen children is apparent but controlled, and he provides a well-judged balance of horror and hope, with the friendship among his protagonists giving the book heart and an opening to empathy." --Horn Book magazine, review by Roger Sutton "A smooth, cadenced telling, and its mid-twentieth century setting offers a chilling reminder that such forced assimilation existed into recent times. The four protagonists are accessibly teen, which gives their plight an immediacy, and their small triumphs makes them easy to root for--which is why the ending is heartbreaking even as it is painfully honest." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "[A] riveting work.... More than just a story of survival, Stealing Indians is focused on the changing, shifting, and even disappearing identities of the four young teens .... A commentary on colonialism and oppression, Stealing Indians moves beyond a survival tale by plumbing the depths of the teens' psychology as they struggle forward in this new world. Ideal for anyone looking for a rich adventure story with depth and heart, Stealing Indians is a work that engages and challenges until the very end." --ForeWord Reviews "Smelcer gives voice to four teens taken from their families and forced into Indian residential boarding schools in the mid-1950s. Thrown together by chance on their way to Wellington, a fictional institution likely based on the infamous Carlisle School, friendships are forged that later become lifesaving. The cost of surviving, and thereby losing their Native identity, changes all four students permanently and continues to affect current generations today. Smelcer tackles the reality of boarding school abuse and treatment, without graphic details of horrific happenings. There are also questions for discussion at the end." School Library Journal "Smelcer s anger about these stolen children is apparent but controlled, and he provides a well-judged balance of horror and hope, with the friendship among his protagonists giving the book heart and an opening to empathy." --Horn Book magazine, review by Roger Sutton "A smooth, cadenced telling, and its mid-twentieth century setting offers a chilling reminder that such forced assimilation existed into recent times. The four protagonists are accessibly teen, which gives their plight an immediacy, and their small triumphs makes them easy to root forwhich is why the ending is heartbreaking even as it is painfully honest." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "[A] riveting work.... More than just a story of survival, Stealing Indians is focused on the changing, shifting, and even disappearing identities of the four young teens .... A commentary on colonialism and oppression, Stealing Indians moves beyond a survival tale by plumbing the depths of the teens psychology as they struggle forward in this new world. Ideal for anyone looking for a rich adventure story with depth and heart, Stealing Indians is a work that engages and challenges until the very end." --ForeWord Reviews " "Smelcer s anger about these stolen children is apparent but controlled, and he provides a well-judged balance of horror and hope, with the friendship among his protagonists giving the book heart and an opening to empathy." --Horn Book magazine, review by Roger Sutton "A smooth, cadenced telling, and its mid-twentieth century setting offers a chilling reminder that such forced assimilation existed into recent times. The four protagonists are accessibly teen, which gives their plight an immediacy, and their small triumphs makes them easy to root forwhich is why the ending is heartbreaking even as it is painfully honest." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "[A] riveting work.... More than just a story of survival, Stealing Indians is focused on the changing, shifting, and even disappearing identities of the four young teens .... A commentary on colonialism and oppression, Stealing Indians moves beyond a survival tale by plumbing the depths of the teens psychology as they struggle forward in this new world. Ideal for anyone looking for a rich adventure story with depth and heart, Stealing Indians is a work that engages and challenges until the very end." --ForeWord Reviews "

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