Rez Dogs

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Modern Age

Rez Dogs
Author: Bruchac, Joseph
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 2020
Geographic Area: North America
Country: United States
Topics: Indigenous Americans, Wabanaki Nation, COVID-19 pandemic
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Middle Grade, Upper Middle Grade
Format: Chapter Book
Published: 2021

American History > Modern Age > Indigenous American History

From the U.S.'s foremost indigenous children's author comes a middle grade verse novel set during the COVID-19 pandemic, about a Wabanaki girl's quarantine on her grandparents' reservation and the local dog that becomes her best friend

Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She’s there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There’s a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration.

Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn’t go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian’s family knows that he’ll protect them too.

Told in verse inspired by oral storytelling, this novel about the COVID-10 pandemic highlights the ways Malian’s community has cared for one another through plagues of the past, and how they keep caring for one another today.

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