Monday, 4 August 2008

My Thoughts: Apache by Tanya Landman

My second read of the Carnegie shortlist, and another fantastic read, another to be added to the recommended reads wall in my classroom.
Apache is a novel about a teenage girl living in an Apache tribe, having seen her young brother killed brutally by the Mexicans and having lost both of her parents, she seeks to avenge her brothers killers. Although female warriors are not the norm, there are no rules governing that a female annot become a warrior if she can pass the tests, so she takes the trials and does well fighting beside the men in bloody and violent battles.
Not everyone within her tribe is happy with her path as a warrior, seeing it as against the nature of women. As a result she comes up against battles whilst at home and away. Keste a local youth is enraged when she becomes a warrior, his battle against her causes rifts and violence, and the unravellings of the secret of her fathers death.
As the novel progresses the Apache tribes no longer have to fear just the Mexicans but with amore brutal degree the white men, who have come to claim the land, and who do not follow the rules when it comes to battles.

Landman tells the tale with a sparse language, she does not jumble the page with countless adjectives and poetic sentences, this created the voice of the character for me, giving her depth. I assume in America the tales and history of the Apache are taught in schools, and a lot of what is in this book about their lives and culture isn't new to an American readership. I, however, enjoyed reading about their culture, in particular their spiritual beliefs. The battles are described from a first person account so may be deemed by some as too violent for a childrens book, but I have read books about life in the treches to kids at school which are just as violent.

Young Adult Challenge Book 5 of 12
Unread Authors Challenge Book 1of 6

Other Reviews
Table Talk's excellent review here
If you have reviewed this book please leave a link to your review and I'll add it in.

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