Title: Morning Girl
Reference: Dorris, M. (1992). Morning Girl. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children.
Brief annotation: This book is about a young girl named Morning girl and her family. It details daily life and culture especially the importance and power of names. Her story is one of family and the journey of growing up and discovering herself and her family members in ways she never considered them before. Morning Girl is the first person to notice and welcome newcomers that the author details as Christopher Columbus and his men.
Genre: Historical Fiction and Multicultural
Grade level: 6.3
Interest Level: Students in grades 4-6 would be interested in this book.
Personal Response: The culture and simplicity of life in this book is so calming and peaceful. There is a strong sense of belonging and family. I especially liked the significance of names in this culture. It reminds me of how names do have power and can be used to hurt and empower people. The moment of the arrival of the Europeans is striking as the reader may know that this is a turning point in history and that her peaceful family and people will not be appreciated for their diversity or sought to be understood. Her reaction to not laugh at them, or judge them for their language or strange ways is so much more mature than the European perspective of expecting all people to assimilate to their culture. It makes me wonder which civilization really was “superior.”
Text-Dependent Question: Why was being called “Hungry “ so hurtful to Star Boy?