Dreamspeaker



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[Epub] ↠ Dreamspeaker Author Cam Hubert – Tiffanydaniels.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 128 pages
  • Dreamspeaker
  • Cam Hubert
  • English
  • 11 January 2018
  • 9780773674820

10 thoughts on “Dreamspeaker

  1. says:

    An extremely accessible read, even for my at risk and struggling readers, Cameron immediately draws the reader into Peter s life experience and world What some students may struggle with depending on how literally they think are Peter s experiences with the memories and fears that haunt him, troubling him both in dreams and during wakeful moments Anne Cameron makes no attempt to rationalize these moments by the standards of the dominant white culture, and if this book is used in an educational environment, educators may find themselves facing queries along the lines of But what are they, really and What happened to him and Do you think they re real From the point of view of providing students the opportunity to learn about the traditional beliefs, healing and education among some of the First Nations peoples of British Columbia, and in challenging students to examine their own beliefs and challenge themselves to make inferences from text, Cameron s refusal to satisfy this European craving for a nice, tidily wrapped up story is a tremendous boon For some kids and teachers, however, it may be too frustrating I also found this novel to be wonderfully honest and authentic I happen to also be reading Kent Nerburn s Neither Wolf Nor Dog at the moment In the foreword of that memoir, Nerburn specifically refers to the concern of the Native people that he worked with that he not fall into what they saw as an offensive habit among white people.good and caring people who are deeply concerned with the plight of Indian people and the tragic history of their last several centuries on this continent try to become Indians, or at least become one with the Indian experience They take on the trappings, they romanticize, they try to right the historical wrong through a great outpouring of empathy, or try to enhance their own identity by appropriating Indian values or belief In the process they distort the reality of the people about whom they care so deeply and turn them into a reflection of their own needs This is exactly what Dan, Grover and all the others would never let me do They remained resolutely and unashamedly themselves and demanded that I do the same Whenever I stepped across the boundary, I was slapped down They refused to let me slip into glib generalizations that would mute their individuality I was asked to recognize their common Indianness, but was constantly reminded that this did not mean I could invest them with a common identity that would reduce them to collective objects of sympathy or pity or veneration Like Kent Nerburn, Anne Cameron does an exemplary job of avoiding this pitfall The characters of the Old Man, who is identified as being First Nations and speaks Nootka, and He Who Would Sing, who is identified as possibly being of mixed First Nations ancestry but having been adopted by the Old Man is culturally First Nations do not fall into the stereotypical leathered and feathered image While the Old Man is clearly wise and lives close to the land, the story reveals the ways in which he has earned and learned his wisdom, and although it is acknowledged when his heritage plays a role for instance, he is a traditional dancer in other cases when it has as much to do with individual character that is also acknowledged for instance his skill in working with vulnerable kids, which he s learned through experience taking in people who needed help Dreamspeaker brings together several interesting themes touching on issues that are often of interest to or relate to First Nations populations, like foster care and institutionalization, isolation, traditional child care and healing, traditional education, some traditional stories of the Nootka people, the vital importance of story and ceremony, generational roles and responsibilities to members of a family, to a community, exploration of one s identity and sense of self, of facing one s fears In that sense, if you are in Canada, it fits well into themes for English First Peoples esp grade 10 HOWEVER The ending of this book caught me off guard I admit I was lulled into a sense of complacency and thought a nice, easy, tidy, It s all going to work out ending was on it s way The book is short and thin, but as the pages at the end got fewer and fewer, I thought Ok, where is the deus ex machina, here There was a death that was entirely predictable and had been foreshadowed several times, and thus the reader is prepared, nor it is grim or gruesome in any way SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT There are however, two suicides that end the book They are dealt with quickly but with the same unflinching style in which Cameron deals with the rest of Peter s experiences Just as the reader never fully understands the things that haunt Peter, or what causes them, while readers can easily infer why the characters choose to end their lives, it happens suddenly, and no justification is provided One of the two characters points out that it is no sin in his eyes because he is seeking a transition not running away He is moving on with his family It is far realistic than the tidy, predictable, nice ending I was thinking was coming It was entirely plausible, gritty and in fact, the very end was emotionally satisfying, if as a reader you are prepared to embrace uncertainty, some mysticism and spirituality This could, however, be considered controversial, a trigger or too mature, too dangerous, too pick an adjective for some classrooms Some teachers may feel uncomfortable dealing with the topic I am not one of those teachers Personally, I think that the issue of mental wellness, in fact whole person wellness, needs to be addressed openly, and that for many students, it s far easier to do so in a novel than it is to wait until someone in the community takes their life Where I teach, North of 60, I don t think that in the almost 5 years I ve been here that there hasn t been a year when at least one person hasn t ended their own life deliberately, and another, usually also fairly young, has died because of high risk behaviours Certainly many of my First Nations students can identify with many of Peter s experiences, even though the character of Peter is not himself First Nations Pretending their experiences are not real, being too afraid to talk about those issues, because they are discomfitting only serves to invalidate the kids experience and often leave them with even fewer adults they feel that they could possibly go to, if they even entertain the thought of maybe asking for help I am not suggesting that teachers become therapists I am saying that avoiding difficult topics in literature closes doors for kids in the interests of protecting institutions That being said, teachers know their kids and their communities I thought it better to put in spoilers than to try to be coy or vague about the end of the book and have someone get to, very literally, the last pages of the book and have the trio of main characters all die, two by their own hands, and end up with distraught kids, angry parents, and or indignant administrators.

  2. says:

    Powerful.

  3. says:

    A lovely book, very sad but no less lovely for it.

  4. says:

    Rather melodramatic sentimental and only mildly good at various points, kind of laughable most of the time Maybe I m not feeling it because I wasn t a kid when I read it, or maybe it s the rather suspect doctor examination scene which was kind of detailed and possibly gratuitous considering the book has a mere three characters and various fractions of other characters and skims through exposition so neatly everywhere else The idea of a misunderstood spiritual battle ruining a youth and the kind of dumb bittersweet ending are somewhat redeeming.Still, it s a quick read if you re into that kind of thing The plot moves along quite well and if nothing else it is concise I don t really see why it won an award or why people love it so much, but then again I wasn t around in the 70s and I don t know much about the author beyond that he wrote this book Decidedly mediocre, in my opinion.

  5. says:

    Outstanding

  6. says:

    It was okay, but not my first choice Besides it was only reading for school.

  7. says:

    I can t recommend this book strongly enough I read it when I was very young and found it just as moving and relevant today.

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