Red Bird Danced

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Acclaimed author Dawn Quigley’s (Ojibwe) first middle grade fiction is a powerful, lyrical novel in verse about Ariel (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) and Tomah (Fort Peck Assiniboine), who live in a large urban Native housing project. Ariel is dealing with a beloved aunt who is missing, and Tomah is coping with difficulty reading—but they both find beauty and strength in their intertribal community. 

Ariel and Tomah have lived in their city’s Intertribal Housing Complex all their lives. But for both of them, this Dagwaagin (Autumn) season is different than any before.

From his bench outside the front door of his building, Tomah watches his community move around him. He is better at making people laugh than he is at schoolwork, but often it feels like his neighbor Ariel is the only one who really sees him, even in her sadness. 

Ariel has always danced ballet because of her auntie Bineshiinh and loves the way it makes her feet hover above the ground like a bird. But ever since Auntie went missing, Ariel’s dancing doesn’t feel like flying.

As the seasons change, and the cold of winter gives way to spring’s promise, Ariel and Tomah begin to change too, learning to share the rhythms and stories they carry within themselves.

With lyrical verse and powerful emotion, Dawn Quigley tells the story of urban Native kids who find strength in connection with those who came before—and in the hope that lets them take flight.


Product Details:
ISBN/EAN: 9780063223622
Publisher: Heartdrum
Publish Date: June 04, 2024
Pages: 176
Target Age: 8-12