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Praise for John Smelcer:
"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."—Horn Book
"A poignant story of colonization and assimilation, something I know a little bit about. A masterpiece."—Chinua Achebe
"Smooth, cadenced telling. . . . The four protagonists are accessibly teen, which gives their plight an immediacy."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Smelcer's prose is lyrical, straightforward, and brilliant . . . authentic Native Alaskan storytelling at its best."—School Library Journal starred review
"A spare tale of courage, love and terrible obstacles."—Wall Street Journal
"A thought-provoking and moving coming-of-age story."—Publishers Weekly
"Heart-tugging moments of clarity and poignancy that recall Jean Craighead George's Julie of the Wolves."—Booklist
"This writer speaks from the land, and for the land, and the people who belong to it."—Ursula K. Le Guin
Kiska's home in the Aleutian Islands is a peaceful paradise until Japan invades in 1942. Soon after, a US naval ship arrives to evacuate everyone in her village to an internment camp almost 2,000 miles away—where they are forgotten. Informed by true events, this is the story of a teenage girl who steps up when her people need a hero.
John Smelcer is the author of over forty books, including essays, story collections, poetry, adult novels, and six YA novels.
See commentary by John Smelcer on NPR's Code Switch, Feb. 21, 2017, in which the author discusses the Aleut evacuation and its context and effects.