Jennifer's Reviews > Diamond Willow

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
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Mar 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: poetry

Diamond Willow is a 12 year old girl who lives with her family in Old Fork, Alaska. Willow, as everyone calls her, is very shy and has a hard time being social with her classmates at school. One day Willow talks her parents into letting her mush their dogs to visit her grandparents for a weekend. On the way home her lead dog Roxy gets hurt and may end up blind. Willow runs away with her only friend Kaylie and Roxy to keep her from getting put down. They get caught in a snowstorm and are watched over by animals who are reincarnated relatives. After Willow and her friend are found, she learns about her twin sister who died as a baby. She learns to accept herself and be happy with her new found friends at school.
The story is told in diamond shaped poems mixed with text to explain her ancestors who watch over her and her family as part of her Native American culture. The unusual thing the author did was to bold certain words on each poem page that you can read to retell the events of the story by themselves. It is a wonderful story for grades 5-8. The format makes it a quick read and might work well with struggling readers.
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