PRAISE FOR BOOK THREE–RED DOVE, RUN THROUGH THE FIRE:
From Samantha Hui, Independent Book Review–“Compassion is the ultimate superpower. Run Through the Fire teaches the lesson that to be a person who gets heard, you must be a person who listens.
“(The book) is a middle grade historical novel that reminds us of the real power of storytelling. The character of Red Dove is a symbol for truth and innocence; with her determination to bring two worlds together and her desire to forgive those who are seemingly unforgivable, Red Dove stands as a great role model for younger audiences. Run Through the Fire is the final book in Sonia Antaki’s Red Dove Trilogy. This book is energetic, heartfelt, and honest: a great finale for the trilogy.
“Red Dove is half Lakota Sioux and half white, and all she wants is to bring together her two worlds and reveal the truth about her history and culture to those who have been misinformed. She’s given the opportunity to tell her story at a variety show that will be presented on a stage in New York.
“However, other people seem to have other plans for her. Mr. Henderson, the owner of the stage, does not want Red Dove to tell such sad stories about the abuse Native American children face at boarding schools meant to assimilate them to white culture or about the truth of the Massacre of Wounded Knee. Instead, she should perform a poem written by a white man.
“Sister Agatha, the cruel nun who abused the girls at the boarding school Red Dove attended, re-emerges, needing help from Red Dove in uncovering the truth behind a years’ long lie. Telling her story will take more than just speaking the truth. Red Dove will also need to figure out how to unblock the ears of those who do not want to listen.
“Red Dove has a power bestowed upon her from her grandfather. The pouch he gave her gives her the ability to read the minds of those around her and to know what they need to hear in order to accept the truth.
“What I love about this book is how compassion is the virtue placed above everything else in Red Dove’s eyes. Red Dove feels sympathy for her dying father who abandoned her in her youth; she is compassionate toward Sister Agatha who was needlessly cruel to the girls at the boarding school; she seeks to teach the hecklers at the performance who don’t deserve her patience.
“Ultimately, Red Dove’s power is the ability to listen closely and understand where others are coming from. Red Dove is a great hero for young audiences because not only does she seek to speak the truth, but to tell it in a way that speaks to the listener’s personal experiences.
“Antaki’s way of storytelling will keep audiences engaged and excited. I found myself speeding through the book, craving to know what happens next at every moment. Why has Sister Agatha suddenly come back into Red Dove’s life? Will Red Dove finally be able to tell her story to a large audience? Will Red Dove find her way back to her family? This is the first book in the trilogy I read, and I applaud Antaki for writing such a captivating continuation of a larger story that could easily be a standalone novel. Because we are dropped in the middle of Red Dove’s journey as a performer, there were moments at the beginning where I struggled to grasp who all the characters were, many of whom I assume were introduced in the previous books. However, I was able to quickly catch up and keep pace with the story.
“Red Dove, Run Through the Fire is a captivating novel about how the determination of a 14-year-old girl can change the lives of all those around her. Real life people such as Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley are introduced and real-life events such as the Massacre of Wounded Knee are acknowledged; this book is effective in getting younger readers mindful of and interested in history. This is a fun and insightful book for young audiences interested in American history and wanting to make a change.”
“This story was both an inspiring and educational experience for me as an adult reader, so I can only imagine how wonderfully useful and enlightening it will also be to middle-grade and younger YA readers. Sonia Antaki has an incredible knack for weaving history and sociology into the storyline seamlessly so that you’re never bogged down with endless prose. You are continually learning about the incredible culture and legacy of the Lakota people. Red Dove is a deeply sensitive and well-developed protagonist, who is remarkably emotionally intelligent at fourteen, owing to her life experiences and attitude. This makes for superb reading and a heartwarming adventure with a deeper message about truth and believing in who you are and where you come from. I would not hesitate to recommend Red Dove, Run Through the Fire for classrooms and home reading alike.”
From Mary Puthoff, Lakota educator and former Program Specialist, Title VI American Indian Education Program–“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Red Dove, Run through the Fire, the third book of the trilogy about the adventures of a young Lakota girl during the late 1800s. It is a touching fictional tale, but it illustrates accurately the history of the Lakota people and their culture. The truth about Wounded Knee and the boarding schools is presented in a respectful manner to which young people can relate. Students who read this book will not forget what happened to the Lakota people in 1890. As an “Iyeshka” person myself, raised in white culture, I can appreciate the fact that it is a struggle to be successful in both societies. This beautifully written book is a fascinating ending to the trilogy. I recommend all three Red Dove books for young and old.”
From Kathryn McLeer, NetGalley Reviewer–“This was another great entry in the Red Dove Trilogy series, it had what I enjoyed from the previous books. Sonia Antaki does a great job in telling the story and (making) each book be a cohesive series. I enjoyed getting back to this series and thought it worked in this universe. The characters were what I was hoping for and worked so well in the story. I loved the time-period going on and how everything that worked in that time-period. I look forward to read more from Sonia Antaki.”
From Carissa Miller, NetGalley Reviewer–“Even though this is the third book in a series. I don’t feel like I missed much. However I do plan on going back and reading the first two books in the series. And I recommend that other readers do the same…”
From Mary Powell, NetGalley Reviewer–“From the first page my attention was held, and I was struck by how brave at 14 the young lady was. Was it the author’s imagination or the Lakota standard. I had to look up a lot of words, mostly tribal; and while the author does give a reading definition, it wasn’t enough for me. Of note, I am much older than the intended audience. The point I would like to make: This is a book with a lesson, as are the previous two. A child will need guidance to maximize their reading and understanding. I would like to be able to prioritize the time to read the other two.”
PRAISE FOR BOOK TWO–RED DOVE, TELL TRUTH TO DARKNESS:
“Red Dove – Tell Truth to Darkness is a fantastic children’s novel written by Sonia Antaki for youth ages 10-14, that explores a re-imagined history of the Lakota people in 1891. Red Dove is a young protagonist who joins Buffalo Bill’s European Wild West Tour…” Literary Titan, October 30, 2021
For more go to: https://literarytitan.com/2021/10/30/red-dove-tell-truth-to-darkness/
“Such a wonderful book telling the story of Red Dove a teenage Indian girl who joins wild Buffalo Bill’s travelling show to tell the truth about what really happened to her people. Whilst Buffalo Bill portrayed a different story.
Me and my 9 year old daughter read this book between us and she loved every minute of it. She told me she especially loved learning Red Doves language and her spiritual magic. The book was packed with excitement and action that every child loves. The story made her want to go to bed earlier to read more and to read it when she woke up just to see what happened next. The story is pack full of those hidden lessons and morals that us parents love to see , allowing the child to learn things without even knowing it.
Having only read the second book in this trilogy I didn’t in the least find it confusing or made to feel like we have missed something important.
Straight away we connected with the characters and the story. This book is brilliant for both boys and girls from aged 8 to young adult and not forgetting us adults who love reading this children’s books we wished we had when we were younger.
We throughly enjoyed every minute of the wonderful tale and look forward to reading the other books from this author.”
Claire Lavin, Netgalley Reviewer
“If you have a middle grade reader who likes historical fiction that has the ability to teach powerful lessons I highly recommend Red Dove Tell Truth to the Darkness.
I give this book five out of five stars! Happy Reading!”
Michelle Kidwell, Random Ramblings of a Reader and Writer Blogspot, Netgalley Reviewer
“I appreciate that this book makes it easy to pick up even if you have not read the first book in the series. They do an excellent job of refreshing your memory and bringing the details of the previous tale in. I also appreciate that it is clearly grounded deeply in Lakota tradition and does not gloss over the harsh reality of how white colonizers treated Lakota and other tribes, whether it was on reservations, in boarding schools, or other places. The level of reading is accessible to mid- and upper elementary students. I did find the flashbacks to be disconcerting, often interrupting the flow of the story for me personally. Others may really enjoy the context they add.”
Audra Vanderland, Netgalley Reviewer
“How could I resist that cover (even it is the second book in a trilogy and I haven’t read the first one?)? That’s one heck of a cute girl and pony.
We meet Red Dove at a residential school in Dakota Territory in 1891 (and oof, isn’t that timely with the recent discoveries of mass graves at North American residential schools). There’s clearly some backstory I’m missing from the first book, but it’s easy to pick up what’s going on and the plot doesn’t hang around. Red Dove is quickly on her way to Europe with Buffalo Bill’s travelling show.
I loved Red Dove’s voice and her determined connection to her Lakota culture. This book doesn’t shy away from the violence inflicted on the Lakota (and other indigenous peoples) by the white colonists and really highlights Red Dove’s struggles to balance her identity and desire to tell the truth with her need to earn money to keep her family alive.
Red Dove’s pony, Winchinchala, doesn’t feature much in the story after they reach Europe but don’t let the lack of horses put you off – this is wonderful historical fiction for younger readers with a wise and brave Lakota protagonist.”
Paperback Ponies, Netgalley Reviewer
“In a time when we Americans are finally becoming aware of the injustices committed against our black and brown citizens, this book is an ideal read for young people. It personalizes the native stories of the Little Bighorn and its subsequent aftermath in our indigenous communities. Red Dove is brave but unsure of herself as she navigates a world changing rapidly from one which her people no longer command to now being controlled by anglo forces from afar.. She is also navigating early adulthood as a mixed race girl where her decisions have lasting consequences to both herself and her native family. Her guiding voice is that of her Lakota grandfather who admonishes her to always tell truth and have faith in her own abilities, a skill she gradually grows confident in.
The story is compelling to the end, unfolding events and locations rapidly. It introduces characters both sympathetic and not. Conflict arises from lack of cultural understanding coupled with antoginistic disinterest on the part of the conquerors. We are even now in the 21st century seeing the results of the misguided Indian boarding schools which attempted to destroy native culture.
Red Dove is a well drawn character who should be appealing to both male and female readers.. The late 1800’s are a compelling time period and Red Dove’s fictional insertion into Buffalo Bill’s Western show a perfect platform to introduce Red Dove to the larger American society so different from the world she grew up in. I look forward to reading the last of the trilogy to find out how she lands.”
Marie Reynolds, Netgalley Reviewer
“Red Dove: Tell Truth to Darkness continues Red Dove’s page-turning adventures in the dangerous American West and in Europe of the 1890s. You’ll find yourself rooting for this plucky Lakota teenager as she faces danger, stands up against injustice, and confronts the mysteries of her ancestors. Beautifully written and full of engaging characters, this is a tale to treasure. Anyone who’s ever found growing up and fitting in complicated, will find echoes of themselves in this book.”
Gabi Coatsworth, Netgalley Reviewer
PRAISE FOR BOOK ONE–RED DOVE, LISTEN TO THE WIND:
“Red Dove” is as full of ideas as it is of action. It is a lively, sensitive portrayal of a young woman who traverses cultures at a pivotal time in history.”
—Rachel Jagareski, ForeWord Reviews (Read full review)
“Historical fiction that does not shy away from the terror and famine experienced by the Lakotas, late 1890. Indian folklore, mysticism, family dynamics all enrich this story.”
—Ann Lacefield, Macdonald’s Bookshop
“Red Dove is a respectful and loving portrayal of a young Lakota girl growing up during the turmoil of the late 1800’s. Her spunky and courageous nature is demonstrated in her tale of a time when all Native children were forcibly taken to boarding schools, hundreds of miles away from their home. I recommend this book as a captivating story that needs to be told to young and old alike.”
—Mary Puthoff, educator and Program Specialist
Title VI American Indian Education Program
“Red Dove is a thirteen-year-old Native American girl whose father is wasichu (anglo) whom she’s never met. While she has inherited gray eyes from her father, her heritage and her heart is with her mother’s people, the Lakota.
“When she’s taken from her home and put into a school operated by nuns, Red Dove must withstand harsh treatment and try to make sense of their foreign ways. Her grandfather, a powerful medicine man, has provided her with a magical pouch that allows her to see and feel what others can’t. This helps her survive, it guides her through the misery that is Wounded Knee, and even opens the eyes of those who are the cruelest and most misguided in their treatment of her.
“In her journey between two very different worlds, she meets some anglos with good hearts, she discovers the truth about her father, she says farewell to her beloved grandfather, and she comes to understand that it’s up to her to find a place she belongs.
“This was a touching story of bravery and endurance in the face of injustice, and one that will be appreciated by young readers who have only read about the Battle at Wounded Knee in textbooks. Told from the perspective of a young Lakota girl, it makes the history of this period very real and accessible, and it sheds light on the discrimination by the white settlers toward the native people of North America. Red Dove will be a great addition to a school library.”
—C. Lee McKenzie, Author of Alligators Overhead and other middle-grade and young adult books
“Vivid and fast-moving, this tale of a young Lakota girl struggling for her identity and life in the late 1800’s engaged me from the beginning and never let go. It’s a hero’s journey that will inspire every child, male or female, Native American or not. Plus, it is chock-full of surprises, adventures, and actual history. A great read even for an adult.”
—E. Katherine Kerr
Actor, Playwright, Teacher, Seminar Leader, Author of The Four Keys and The Four Principles
“I loved this historical novel. Red Dove, the feisty 13-year-old Lakota girl at its heart, comes to life on the page as she tries to find her place in a changing world after the battle of Wounded Knee. A gift from her grandfather comes to symbolize more than she ever imagined. She uses it to help navigate between her native culture and the world of the white man who seeks to destroy it. But she knows one day she will have to do this alone. Sonia Antaki brings this 19th century world to vivid life, and Red Dove’s adventure-filled journey kept me turning the pages as I watched her coming into her own.”
—Gabi Coatsworth, author of Tangerine Tango
“A rich and utterly captivating portrayal of a transitional time in our nation’s history, and in a brave and spirited Lakota girl’s young life. Growing up in the Dakota Territory during the time of Wounded Knee, Antaki’s Red Dove must learn to travel between worlds – preserving the cultural values, memories and traditions of her tribal Lakota upbringing, while finding her own promising future in the newly-white world spreading across the America west. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, Red Dove, Listen to the Wind shines a light on history, and on the pain and possibilities that come with change. The book has an epic quality. I can only hope for more!”
—Lori Stewart, author of Travels with JJ and other award-winning books.
“Red Dove is the girl we all wanted to be, when we were growing up. Although Red Dove’s story, Listen to the Wind, takes place 130 years ago and is set against the battle of Wounded Knee, the thirteen year old Latoka girl is a modern day heroine and role model. She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. Stubborn and proud, Red Dove is continually caught between two worlds: the white world and the native, the world of magic and realism, the just and unjust, and the past and the future. Red Dove bravely navigates her way through them. Armed with her magic pouch and her grandfather’s wisdom, she learns the lessons of compassion and empathy along the way.”
—Maggie Hardy, author of Sweater Weather
“Young readers will fall in love with Red Dove, a thirteen year old Lakota girl who must leave her family and tribal way of life during the 1890’s in South Dakota. She has inherited her Grandfather’s gift of Medicine. In spite of losing everything Native and surviving within a foreign culture, she never loses her spirit, nor her compassionate nature. Her goodness will remain with the reader long after the story has ended.”
—G.K.Foster, author of Untouchable
“This is an excellently told tale with absorbing situations and a plucky heroine. Boys and girls equally would enjoy the read.”
–Clare O’Beara, Fresh Fiction