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Between Two Worlds

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  29 reviews
On the treeless shores of Itta, Greenland, as far north as humans can settle, sixteen-year-old Inuit Billy Bah spots a ship far out among the icebergs on the bay--a sight both welcome and feared. Explorers have already left their indelible mark on her land and its people, and a ship full of white men can mean trouble.

The ship carries provisions for Robert E. Peary, who is
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.37  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Jun 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Katherine Kirkpatrick's Between Two Worlds is another example of an author and major publisher trying to tell a Native story, but failing. It is getting good reviews, which represents another fail in the reviewing world.

The protagonist in Kirkpatrick's story is supposed to be an Inuit teen, Billy Bah, who was the seamstress for Robert E. Peary, one of the white men who claimed to reach the North Pole (I used 'white' deliberately because all the fuss over "first" white men to reach this or that p
Apr 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014reviews
Between Two Worlds was an interesting and thoughtful novel. The novel is set in Greenland at the turn of the twentieth century. It is told from the native perspective, a young woman named Eqariusaq, nicknamed Billy Bah by Robert E. Peary's wife and daughter. The novel explores the tension between the heroine's "two worlds." On the one hand, as a child, she went with Peary and lived with his family for about a year in the United States. Several years later, her parents also traveled with Peary. B ...more
Margo Berendsen
Based on loosely on the life of a real person, a young woman in 1900-1901 who was one of the natives who helped the first white man, Robert Peary, his team and his family, in his exploration of Ellesmere Island, leading up to his claim of reaching the North Pole in 1909.

Loved reading about these Arctic adventures from the perspective of a native, and a girl to boot! Eqariusaq was a spirited girl, too - loved her outspoken but sometimes wistful character. She was part of the tiny population of p
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received Between Two Worlds from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Between Two Worlds is the fictionalized story of Billy Bah, a real Inuit woman who lived in northern Greenland in the late 1800s and early 1900s. After reading the historical notes at the end of the book (I read them first!), I spent a little time reading about explorer Robert Peary, the Inuit, and the two settings of the book online. Katherine Kirkpatrick has written Snow Baby, a nonfiction account of the childhoo
Anna N.~Inner Demons Just Wont Go Away
Rating: 2.5

I won a copy of this book for an honest review. This will never effect how I like or rate a book.

And in all honesty I'm sad I couldn't like this book more. I was really looking forward to it, it has a really great cover and it sounded like it would be an interesting story. Really though I just found myself bored. Constantly putting the book down and finding other things to do. Which for a book that's only 261pgs that's pretty sad. So let me try to say some good things about the book b
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This fascinating adventure is “loosely based on the life of an Inuit (Polar Eskimo) girl known to explorer Robert E. Peary and his family” as Billy Bah, a nickname they gave her as her given name is Eh-karee-u-sak (Eqariusaq)

It’s no easy life for Billy and the other Inuit living within the Arctic Circle at the turn of the century. At 16 years old, Billy is already married and known for her skills sewing animal skins and furs to make beautiful, durable clothing.

When a large ship arrives to their
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was a fascinating look at Inuit / Eskimo culture and the history of their interactions with Europeans. I had no previous knowledge of these people, and this story was a great way to dive in. I really enjoyed how the author had Billy Bah walk the line between the (to my modern, feminist eyes) misogynistic culture that she grew up in and her desire to follow her own path. At times she felt most comfortable being told what to do by her husband, and at other times she wanted nothing to do ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
An interesting and insightful glimpse at Inuit life.

Set in 1900, way above the Artic Circle, this book is loosely based on a true story of a 16-year old married Inuit woman, and her interactions with her husband (a lazy 19 year old Inuit), explorer Robert E. Peary his family, the men accompanying Perry, and the greater Inuit community.

The adult male Inuit concept of trading his wife's sexual services to other men plays an important part in the book. For this reason, I would not recommend the bo
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

This is a very interesting book based on the life of an Inuit girl/woman (in the book she was 16 but had been married for several years) who knew the explorer Peary and lived for a year with his family in this US. It is a well written exploration of the cultural conflicts she likely faced as well as the interactions between her community and the explorers.

The author obviously did extensive research and reached out to modern Inuits to
Tiffany Toms
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

First off I have to say that I have no idea how this book is considered a teen book, but nonetheless I enjoyed it thoroughly!

This book is based on the actual exploration of Robert Peary to reach the North Pole first, but the story revolves more around the Inuit culture during the late 1800s. Eqariusaq nicknamed Billy Bah by Peary's wife and daughter faces the reality of her life and searches for answers on her parents disappearance and how she
Linda Branich
This book is rated 14 and up. I received it free from First Reads in exchange for a fair and honest review. The manner of acquisition of this book in no way influenced my review.

This is a coming of age story about a 16-year-old Innuit Eskimo girl from Northern Greenland. I did not realize until I got to the end that it was loosely based on an actual perso, who became a seamstress for Admiral Peary. There are photographs of her at the end of the book.

"Billy Bah", as she was known by explorer Robe
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaway-arc, 2014
I received this book through a goodreads giveaway. I was never completely sure who this book was written for. The writing style seems targeted at a young crowd, but some of the themes were much older, in particular the trading of wives for goods and the "needs" of a ship of men.

The book was very loosely based on a true story, but for a primarily oral storytelling culture the author didn't have much to go on except turn of the century white people's journals. The book didn't really ever have a b
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was swept into another time and place as sixteen-year-old Billy Bah, an Inuit girl from Greenland in the early 20th century, navigates between the moral, spiritual and societal customs of her country and the America of the great explorer Robert E. Peary who has taken her there and back again. The struggle and mortal danger of living in the relentlessly cold and icy world of Greenland is gripping. The attention to detail is fascinating as she hunts birds, climbs dangerous cliffs and sews sealsk ...more
Eqariusaq, called Billy Bah throughout this book, is one of the Arctic Inuit in Greenland where Commander Robert Peary is staging his attempts to reach the North Pole. As a child she spent a year living with Peary's family in Washington, DC. When a supply ship comes looking for Peary and carrying his wife and daughter gets stuck in the Arctic ice for the winter, Billy Bah finds herself torn between two worlds. It doesn't help that her husband is trading her "favors" to the white men to gain ammu ...more
Oct 25, 2014 rated it liked it
This novel tells the story of a 16-year-old Inuit girl known as Billy-Bah, who has spent a year as a child living in Washington D.C. with the family of Lt. Peary, has returned, is married and has only memories of America. Her parents were taken to America but contracted illnesses and died there. Now, with Peary living in the north full time, supply ships come and go, and this one carries his wife and daughter. Billy-Bah’s husband trades her “favors” with the sailors for supplies like wood, guns ...more
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A rare look into the world of exploration and life passages through the perspective of Billy Bah an Eskimo, Eqariusaq an Inuit from Greenland. Katherine Kirkpatrick shares a transforming year in Eqariusaq's life. She pursues a secret until she finds the disturbing answer. Kirkpatrick provides eyes and feeling along the journey from used property to being free living life more on her terms. She is a real person and I got a sense of a real journey.

We are given a glimpse into Robert Peary's pursuit
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Novel received courtesy of giveaway

I've not seen any other historical fiction dealing with Robert Peary, Matthew Henson and the Inuit that helped them to the North Pole. This was such an enlightening book! While Kirkpatrick worked from actual events, which she lists in the back of the book, she added fiction to "fill out" the novel. I learned so much about the Inuit way of life and about the lives of Peary, his crew and his family. I especially enjoyed the photos at the end of the
Dina Tanners
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it

Well-written powerful historical fiction book of Equriusaq (Billy Bah) who was the main seamstress for Lt. Peary and his crew in their attempt to get to the North Pole. The author previous wrote a children's book on the birth in Greenland and young life of Peary's daughter. She then pondered what it would be like to tell of the explorers from the point of view of an Inuit. ( Eqariusaq was taken to the US for a year to help take care of Peary's young daughter.) The author did a lot of historical
May 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
I have to admit, that I was slightly confused about the content of this book. I realize that it's fiction, loosely based on a true story and I get that Billy Bah, the main character, was supposed to be torn between two worlds. However, she seemed to lacked any sign of emotion at all and the entire book left me uncaring about her plight. The only real storyline that I could find was the books borderline erotica and even that was poorly written.
It appears that Katherine Kirkpatrick, usually a much
Jun 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is one of the most offensive books I have ever read. I am going to have to think about how to best write a review and come back to it when I have a more level head.

However, I will say that I am heartbroken by the number of reviewers who rate this book 5 stars and make comments about how much they learned about Eskimo/Inuit culture. It makes me physically sick to think that adults reading this book view the information as accurate and well researched. Kirkpatrick should have stuck to the wor
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
bookaday #6. 3.5 stars. Intriguing story, loosely based on actual events surrounding some of polar explorer Robert Peary's expeditions to the North Pole. Enjoyed the interactions between the Inuit characters themselves and the explorers and everyone's struggles to survive the harsh climate. Strange to think the action takes place about 100 years ago. Interesting back matter as well, including photos.
Jessica Connors
Between Two Worlds is a right of passage for Billy Bah, Eqariusaq, wife to one man, love interest to another and seamstress to Explorer Robert Peary. It is a journey of spirit and body that Katherine Kirkpatrick does well in capturing the essence there of. It will be a moving book for those open to learn and grown from one we rarely notice. Billy Bah gains freedom, a sense of self and respect along the journey.
Grazyna Nawrocka
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating journey of self-discovery and self-awareness! Billy Bah, who found herself and her righteous place in this world amidst two cultures, was a very interesting and inspirational character. Although I would not consider this book to be feminist, I enjoyed motive of emancipation. As always I had a lot of fun reading about different relationship dynamics and social habits. It is a very good book. I like everything about it: style, characters, plot, and happy ending.
I'm not sure what kind of teenager would read this. I enjoyed very much feeling transported to this community of people that live in unimaginable conditions - the northern tip of Greenland! But, the plot was a bit all over the place, and I don't see the appeal to teen audiences. It reminded me of a middle-grade book, except with a lot more (alluded to) sexual content.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book wasn't horrible but it failed to grasp me into the characters and stories.

Final Grade: C
Kathi Early
Apr 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
I received this book from Goodreads in May from the publisher but just now finished it. I felt there were too many sexual references for the targeted 14 and up age group. I am sure that most girls are en-lighted ( I say girls because it doesn't seem the type of book a teenage boy would pick up and find interesting)about sex but it isn't always necessary for a good story. I also feel that there is so much sexual things in society now targeted at young teens I think the author could have easily st ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I absolutely love reading books that have historical touches. So when Between Two Worlds unexpectedly arrive in the mail, I decided to give it a go as its a book about a Native story with a historical setting. It sounded like something I'd love to read. I was intrigued by the historical facts/notes that Kirkpatrick included in the back of the book, and wanted to know how she incorporated those real life events into a her own story. Sadly this book fell flat with it's narrative and writing for me ...more
rated it it was ok
Jul 17, 2014
rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2015
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