________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 9 . . . .January 7, 2005

cover

Pomiuk: Prince of the North.

Alice Walsh. Illustrated by Jerry Whitehead.
Vancouver, BC: Sandcastle Books/Beach Holme Publishing, 2004.
58 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 0-88878-447-3.

Subject Headings:
World's Columbian Exposition (1893: Chicago, Ill.)-Juvenile fiction.
Inuit-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Carole Reeve.

**1/2 /4

   

excerpt:

One morning I awake to find a big crack in the ice. It is what we have all been waiting for - spring breakup. The ice breaks into chunks and drifts away. Seals can now be hunted in open water from our kayaks. The sun's heat warms the land, melting our igloos, and we move into caribou tupeks.

Tiny streams run down mountains, and flowers appear near the cliffs. Cries of gulls, ducks, and other birds fill the air, and I know the cold days of winter are far behind us. Food is now plentiful, and it is a time for feasting.

One day I walk along the beach and hear a shrill blast. Again all the birds fly away, and once more our dogs wail fearfully. I gaze across the water, and my heart sinks. The white men have returned!

 

internal art

In 1893, a young Inuit boy is uprooted from his quiet, northern life and moved to the bustling city of Chicago. The story is based on the real life experience of Pomiuk who travels to the World's Columbian Exposition to be a part of the Eskimo Village. Millions of people pass through the Exposition, and many are charmed by Pomiuk and his use of a dog whip. Walsh clearly shows the culture shock Pomiuk and his adopted family experience as, for the first time, they eat apples and see tall buildings, bicycles and Ferris wheels. Walsh also explores Pomiuk's desire to fit in and be a part of a family.

     After Pomiuk injures his leg, he becomes quite homesick and realizes America is not the place for him. Pomiuk must have an operation, and so he is sent to a hospital in Labrador while everyone else heads back north. In the end, the reader is left with the hope that Pomiuk will return to his home and his adopted family. Walsh provides interesting facts about the Inuit way of life, and Inuktitut words are explained well in the body of the text. A glossary is also provided.

Recommended.

Carole Reeve is the Assistant Branch Head at the Osborne Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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