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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
"Gray Rainbow Journey" by K.B. Schaller has something for nearly every reader. There is adventure, cultural experience, indecision in moving toward adulthood and soul-searching personal questions which move the characters to self-fulfillment. Dina Youngblood is a young Native American adult looking for a personal sense of identy and motivation. Her mother Cheha left the small community of Bitterroot under highly mysterious circumstances and Dina's younger sister Shania has also escaped the confines of Native American culture while seeking a life as an actress and model. Dina is now responsible for the care of her diabetic uncle Donnie and she fears that all her hopes and dreams will sink into oblivion as she takes on multiple roles as the responsible caretaker for the family. To add to Dina's woes, she is in the midst of a personal belief crisis. There are those who promise personal freedom and self-efficacy through a conversion to Christianity but Dina feels pulled to the traditional Indian folklore. Her old boyfriend Marty Osceola returns to promise Dina everything she has always dreamed about and yet, something is missing.
Schaller skillfully weaves in Native American folklore and tradition as she sets up a heart-rending conflict between the old ways and the ways of the Christan White culture. Her characters are real; they are flawed and they are believable. This would be a book well worth reading for the young adult class. There are teacher suggestions at the end of the book for use in facilitating understanding of the conflicts posed in the story. This book is a treasure find and one which begs to be read by those exploring the ways and traditions of a culture which once permeated the North Americas.