Broken Circle by Christopher Dinsdale
Jesse is going on what he thinks is a stupid trip with his uncle and cousin Jason. His father had wanted him to go on this trip, but his father was dead now; his mother made him go anyway. Jesse goes with his uncle and cousin out into the woods, in Canada. As it turns out, Jason is going into the woods to have a Wendat vision quest. Jesse and his family are all part Wendat Native American.
The first night out, Jesse has a strange dream. He dreams that he is a deer and he destroys a hunting enclosure. His uncle and cousin agree that Jesse might have just had his own vision quest. Another night Jesse dreams again. He speaks to a young warrior of the Wendat tribe and tells him that he is his spirit animal. Jesse then meets part of the Wendat tribe, as a deer, but is soon ripped from that time when he wakes.
Jesse dreams once more of the Wendat people, but this time, he knows what is going to happen to them. His uncle has told him the sad story about how his people lost so many and so much of their culture. Jesse sees the Wendat people one more time before waking up.
What I liked
The Wendat are not a tribe I am familiar with and I am always pleased to learn about new peoples, especially Native American peoples as I am part Native American. I had never heard of Ste. Marie, a fort mentioned in this book, or the fact that the owners of the fort destroyed it so the Iroquois could not use it. The conquest of the Americas was definitely a sad time for all native tribes, no matter what part of the Americas those tribes happened to be in. History is always a good thing to know and I liked how this book incorporates pieces of history in an easy-to-read manner.
What I didn’t like
Some things are “woo-woo” to me. Vision quests are not necessarily woo-woo in my opinion, but time-traveling vision quests are woo-woo in my opinion. Look, I love stories, movies, and television shows about time-travel. I love Doctor Who and I love Back to the Future. If those two got together and had a baby, I would watch the resulting show. A vision quest is a serious cultural/spiritual matter to many Native Americans. Have there been time-traveling vision quests? Maybe, but I sort of feel as if time-travel cheapens the whole idea, but, then again, I could be completely wrong.
Man, this kid is never going to look at his dreams the same ever again.
If you had a vision quest, what do you think would be your spirit animal?
Do you think is it highly important to preserve the traditions of our ancestors?