Soldier Sister, Fly Home

Soldier Sister, Fly Home

Book - 2016
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Half-Navajo, half-white sisters Tess and Gaby are separated when Gaby drops out of college to join the army. Now as Gaby is deployed to Iraq, she asks Tess to care for Blue, the spirited horse that Tess dislikes. Tess struggles with her identity and with missing her sister, and she decides to spend the summer with her grandmother at sheep camp where tragedy strikes.
Publisher: Watertown, MA :, Charlesbridge,, [2016]
ISBN: 9781580897020
Branch Call Number: J Flood
Characteristics: 166 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Begay, Shonto


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Aug 25, 2016

Sister comes back to tell family she's being deployed full time to Iraq. I loved how the younger sister disputed her decision with real questions. There is a peek into Navajo thinking and customs. I also liked it how the grandma handled a young girl's rudeness. Where the daughter was ashamed of who she was; the grandmother wasn't. So it was easy for the grandmother to converse easily and explain things in a kind way. Which is true for anyone: if you're secure in who you are, you have confidence to meet any challenge.

There was a bunch of extra content that didn't add to the story. Everyone's character/ motivation are severly underdeveloped. Since everywhere I looked about the book it kept bringing up the fact that they were biracial, I really thought it'd dive into culture/race. The theme of identity is touched on but isn't the main one. I wished it would have really delved into the issues AND resolved them. It raised alot of valid questions but never really addressed them. Instead there is a quiet acceptance of what life and death is. There are some good things but nothing to really stand out in an impactful way. Read for 6th grade and up.

Fyi the "animal cruelty" and "horse breeding" scenes are extremely respectful. Unless you're 100% vegan you shouldn't be offended, it's normal farm life. The two sheep who are slaughterd are done so for a very specific purpose. (In one instance its to protect her sister going to war.) Its also shown very clearly that they respect the animals and don't want them to be in fear when it dies. Can't say the same for any burger that is mass produced, mashed together from 10 cows and I eat lol. So if you've *ever had any slice of meat in your life, you can't judge them or really be squeamish. If you're worried about the animal mating scene like I was after reading the online reviews, it goes like this: 'the mare stood there ready. after they were done, it was beautiful'


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