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The Night the White Deer Died

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
An Indian brave stands poised to shoot a white deer drinking from a pool of water in the moonlight. It is only a dream—a recurring nightmare that haunts 15-year-old Janet Carson—but it is a dream that will change her life forever.
Janet, one of the few Anglo teens in the New Mexico art colony where she lives with her mother, feels isolated and alone. For some reason, she is
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 1978)
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Tony Petry
Jun 03, 2015 Tony Petry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of my favorites by Gary Paulsen, but still a good read. It was written in a very poetic style that kept me drawn in. The book is more of a novella and didn't pick up till midway through but I still enjoyed it.
Parris Young
Sep 16, 2014 Parris Young rated it it was amazing
Many years ago I read a review of this book by a school teacher. She said it was a horrible book and not fit for young people. In other words, she understood not a word of it.
. . . The Night the White Deer Died is possibly the finest story I have ever read. What distinguishes this book/story from fully adult literature is its length -- too long for a conventional poem and too short for a novel. It is much like an adult novel minus the wasted words, the small talk, the unnecessary drama, the supe
Andd Becker
Nov 05, 2012 Andd Becker rated it did not like it
The story has a transcendent quality.
Feb 26, 2016 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gary Paulsen's early works differ somewhat from what he produced after his three Newbery Honor books, Dogsong (1986), Hatchet (1988), and The Winter Room (1990). There's an element of pagan spiritualism to many of Gary Paulsen's teen and middle-grade novels, but it was more obvious in his earlier books. The Night the White Deer Died, Tracker, and even Dancing Carl to some extent showed this belief in a Mother Earth watching over us from afar, a deity malleable to whatever traits we desire in ou ...more
Mai Tran
Nov 05, 2015 Mai Tran rated it it was amazing
This book is really great and has a lot of deep emotional and meaningful sentences. When I first looked at the front of the book and read the title, The Night the White Deer Died By Gary Paulson, I thought it would be a bit boring. When I read the book, it’s was a bit difficult for me to understand until I really thought into it.
While reading this book, I really thought I was there, watching, as the plot was played out in front of me. In my opinion, I didn’t like a small part. It would be main
Megan Neubauer
Nov 17, 2015 Megan Neubauer rated it liked it
The Night the White Deer Died is a captivating coming age of story for young Janet. The book takes place in the point of view of Janet herself. Janet and her mother move to a new Native American village where Janet meets an old Indian chief, Billy Honcho. Billy is an old drunk who spends most of his nights drinking and most of his days in jail with a hangover. Janet meets Billy late one night. She knows almost immediately that the connection between them is something that cannot be broken. Their ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Mfriar85 rated it it was ok
I read “The Night The White Deer Died” by Gary Paulsen. This book was a very slow read and very hard for someone like me to get into. I usually like Gary Paulsen's work, but this book just didn’t do it for me. There were though some parts that interested me like the mysterious dream Janet continued to have during the beginning. The ending was also interesting to me an a bit unexpected to me.

I often question Janet throughout the whole book for many things, but the main reason was why she would k
Brody Anderson
A story about a young white girl, Janet, who lives with her newly divorced mother in the small town of Tres Pinos. Janet feels out of place as she is one of the few Anglos in town and becomes a loner, not out of necessity, it just happens. As her mother gets more into stone carving and getting back into art, Janet becomes even more of a loner. Throughout most of the story she has a recurring dream of a beautiful white deer drinking water from a moon lit pool and an Indian brave in white illumina ...more

The only Anglo teen in the tiny town of Tres Pinos, 15-year-old Janet finds herself something of a loner. Close to her artistic but newly-divorced mother, the girl struggles with racial isolation and strange, macho dating customs of the hispanic youth around her. At night she is haunted by a recurring dream, in which an Indian brave aims his arrow--in slow motion, never quite reaching its target--at a peaceful white doe. Is this dream sy
Brandon Smith
Sep 11, 2015 Brandon Smith rated it it was ok
I read “The Night The White Deer Died” by Gary Paulsen. This book was boring and complicated for someone like me to read and it diffidently was my least favorite book by Gary. I usually like Gary Paulsen's work but this book was not for me. The ending was interesting but kind of left me hanging in some parts.

I often question Janet throughout the book but the main reason was why she kept trying with Billy. Billy cared about Janet even though he was many years older than her. The life Billy was li
Kyra Nelson
Sep 28, 2013 Kyra Nelson rated it it was ok
Required Categories: Gary Paulsen

Janet has a recurring nightmare in which a young Indian brave shoots a white deer. She meets and falls in love with an old, alcoholic Indian man named Billy Honcho. Billy teaches her some of the customs of the local American Indians. The book was hard for me to get into. I've read several of Paulsen's books and I just don't love his writing style. I have a hard time connecting with the characters and enjoying the voice. I was hoping I'd like this one more, since
Tyler Petzke
Apr 26, 2016 Tyler Petzke rated it it was ok
The Night the White Deer Died by Gary Paulsen is an interesting book that is very different from other Gary Paulsen titles. This book follows a young girl named Janet who keeps having a recurring dream about an indian. This book starts off really slow but picks up a bit towards the middle. The book is short but surprisingly complicated. I didn’t enjoy the book and it was really hard to read through. With that said I feel like this needs to be read two or three times to fully understand the whol ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Myah rated it it was amazing
he night the white deer died is 100 pages long the genre is realistic fiction.

A brave indian stands positioned to shoot the pure white deer in the moonlight by a beautiful pond. It is only a recurring nightmare for Janet Carson. But it is a nightmare that will change her forever. Janet is one of the few Anglo teens in New Mexico. She lives with her mother but feels isolated and alone. For some very odd Reason she is drawn to a man named Billy Honcho, an alcoholic Indian who begs for money from h
Oct 10, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not really sure I fully understand the book. As always I love reading the words Gary Paulsen puts on the pages and the images and feelings the words evoke, but this time I'm just not sure I got the message. Still, I'm glad I read it. I liked Billy Honcho, and I liked Janet and her mother. I at first felt sorry for Billy, but by the end of the story, I admired him. I don't think I'd recommend it to my 8th graders to read -- I found myself wondering if it wasn't really an adult story rather th ...more
Christian Neese
An Indian brave stands poised to shoot a white deer drinking from a pool of water in the moonlight. It is only a dream a recurring nightmare that haunts 15 year old Janet Carson but it is a dream that will change her life forever.
Janet, one of the few Anglo teens in the New Mexico art colony where she lives with her mother, feels isolated and alone. For some reason, she is drawn to Billy Honcho, an old, alcoholic Indian who begs for money from her.
This was my most favorite book ever when I was younger. I think I've read it at least ten times and end up rereading it whenever I pick it up. I haven't read many books by Gary Paulsen but I love how he really describes every situation that Janet is in and her feelings, everything, perfectly. It also taught me a little about my Native American heritage. It's a quick read for anyone who decides to pick it up and give it a try.
Cody Asmus
Apr 25, 2013 Cody Asmus rated it liked it
I thought that this was a good book because it was full of excitement and it had a mystery in it too. A Indian girl is having a dream and she is about to shoot a deer. The dream is haunting her but it will also change her life forever. She lives in New Mexico with her mother. She is in love with some drunk guy that keeps stealing her money. But as they get to know each other. The drunk becomes her brave in her dream. And that is why i thought this was a good book.
Dec 03, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
Reminded me of the relationship between Bill Forrester and Helen Loomis, age 95, in Ray Bradbury's book Dandelion Wine...the possibility of having a deep connection with someone from a different generation. Soul mates, but destined to never be together. Sweet, yet sad.
Melissa McLees
Sep 04, 2014 Melissa McLees rated it liked it
This book was a little harder to get into, but I did like it. It was a little sad, but other than that It was a good read!
May 04, 2015 Jacob added it
I really didn't like this book. It was confusing to read and what I did understand was weird. I usually like Gary Paulsen but this wasn't one of his good books.
Oct 02, 2009 Robin rated it really liked it
Very interesting story about a oung girl who connects with an older drunk indian and his once great heritage
Jan 22, 2014 Apzmarshl rated it it was ok
I guess I should have learned what this book was about before giving it to Jack. Neither one if us liked it.
Bizarre relationship between a 15 year old girl and an alcoholic Indian man of 53.
Apr 17, 2008 Tatiana rated it really liked it
I love this book because a spoiled girl learns what live and love is really about, but she learns the good way, from a much older man minus the sexual stuff. Very cool, plus I love indians.
Aug 08, 2010 Ryan rated it liked it
It was not what I was expecting. It was less action and more thought provoking. I wouldn't give it to a kid though.
Renee rated it it was ok
Nov 30, 2011
Danielle rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2013
Whitney rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2014
Heather rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2008
Elizabeth B
Elizabeth B rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2014
Colleen rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2009
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
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