Cady and the Bear Necklace
Modern History Press (2022)
Review by Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views (05/2023)
Ann Dallman’s children’s book “Cady and the Bear Necklace” 2nd Edition, is the first book in the Cady Whirlwind Thunder mystery series. Cady is a young Native American teenage girl learning to adjust to numerous challenges thrust upon her recently. Since Cady was little, it had just been her and her father. Now she must share her father’s love and attention with his new wife and baby brother. Internally, Cady has become rebellious and short-tempered. She feels rejected by her biological mother, who chose the party life over her, and by her father’s new family. In hopes of regaining balance for Cady, her father enrolls her in the Four Eagles School on the Woodland Indian Reservation.
One day, in a rush between classes, Cady finds a sacred eagle feather on a hallway floor. Following tradition, she notifies an elder to collect the sacred feather and perform a relocation ceremony. The pipe bearer tells Cady her thoughtfulness and respect will be honored in the spirit world with a task to perform or a mystery to solve. Soon after, a mystery unfolds under a squeaky floorboard in her bedroom, where she discovers a unique bear necklace.
At school, Cady’s teacher assigns her a project to interview an elder on the reservation about their life and traditions. While interviewing Grandma Eunice, Cady is shown photographs of how the reservation looked years ago. Amongst those photos was a beautiful Native dancer wearing the same necklace Cady discovered in her house just days ago. Grandma Eunice became enraged when asked about the woman, demanding Cady leave. With her curiosity sparked, Cady sets out to discover the name of the mysterious lady and what significance the bear necklace holds.
Author Ann Dallman’s “Cady and the Bear Necklace: A Cady Whirlwind Thunder Mystery” is a fast-paced mystery full of folklore, history, and a touch of teenage love interest. The writing style effortlessly draws the reader into a captivating story with numerous teachable moments. I was impressed with how real the characters felt with their relatable struggles and family relationships. History and Native American beliefs and traditions are sprinkled throughout the mystery, immersing its reader into the culture. I enjoyed seeing chapter titles written in English and Ojibwe, enabling readers to visualize and pronounce the language accompanying the story told. “Cady and the Bear Necklace” has the perfect amount of historical fact mixed with folklore and mystery to engage even the most hesitant reader.
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