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Between Earth and Sky

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,360 ratings  ·  267 reviews
On a quiet Philadelphia morning in 1906, a newspaper headline catapults Alma Mitchell back to her past. A federal agent is dead, and the murder suspect is Alma’s childhood friend, Harry Muskrat. Harry—or Asku, as Alma knew him—was the most promising student at the “savage-taming” boarding school run by her father, where Alma was the only white pupil. Created in the wake of ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Kensington Publishing
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Kathy Yes this book is very sad in parts, ,but there is redeeming value and there is a sense of hope by the end. Quite a journey through lots of emotions.
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 enlightening and engaging historical fiction stars to Between Earth and Sky! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Alma Mitchell’s childhood friend, Asku, is accused of murdering a federal agent. Alma’s husband is a lawyer, and he agrees to represent Asku at the trial as a favor to her.

When Alma knew Asku, he was a successful student at the residential school for assimilating Native American children, and Alma had been the only white student enrolled because her father was headmaster of the school. The Stover School w
Kristy K
4.5 Stars

Oh my gosh this book broke my heart.

There’s a lot in American history that we don’t talk about. It’s skimmed over in school or a pretty or patriotic spin is put on it. In the 1800s the US was busy assimilating Native Americans into their culture, forcing them to dress like them, talk like them, and act like them even though none of the indigenous people expressed a want of this.

Skenandore exposes this time in history. Between Earth and Sky follows Alma going from her past as a white c
A slow paced but poignant exploration of the treatment of Native Americans in history from the point of view of a young, coming of age girl. Alma, the main character, is a young white girl in a unique position of growing up among Native American children at her father's boarding school for "civilizing" them. Naturally, she befriends them, and like them, she is caught between two worlds, but does she truly understand them and their situation? As an adult, she has to the face the ghosts of this pa ...more
Rating: 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

This book by Amanda Skenandore is told in alternating timelines. One is set in the 1880’s in Wisconsin, and the other is set in 1906.

In the 1880's storyline a seven-year old, Alma moves with her parents to rural Wisconsin when her father becomes the Superintendent at the Stover School for Indians. She is an only child who has been schooled by governesses up to this point in her life. She is excited to get to go to school with other children. But the adul
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an impressive debut novel by Amanda Skenandore. She writes about a very sensitive subject in a very insightful, straightforward and touching manner. There's sadness and despair and tragedy here, all treated without melodrama or excessive emotional pathos. This story moved me deeply, gave me a lump in my throat many a time, and even brought me to tears during the reading and long after finishing the read.

Intellectually I knew about this part of U.S. history. I've always known about the in
This compelling novel tells the story of a girl, Alma, whose father runs a residential school on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. The book shifts between Alma's childhood and her attempts as an adult to intervene in, and perhaps atone for, the effects of the school and white society in general on one of her Anishinaabe friends who is on trial for the murder of a reservation agent. The book is not a mystery but holds the reader's attention with the delicate unfolding of dreams, secrets, and relati ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just had the pleasure of a free afternoon and a pre-release reading of "Between Earth and Sky" by Amanda Skenandore! The story starts in the late 1800's when the central character's father opens an Indian School to basically strip young native Americans of their culture and save their heathen souls. The book brings up a disturbing bit of our country's History and the unjust cruel treatment of native Americans. I really enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it to any historical fiction fan! ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Skenandore’s novel is a moving and powerful historical fiction set in the 1880s and early 1900s. This debut is slow paced but never boring. With realistic, sympathetic characters, and complex relationships, this book deals with a difficult topic. Quit a heartbreaking story for Alma and the Native American children forced to attend the Stover School. The way this country treated the Native Americans is appalling especially at the Mission Schools.
Erin Dunn
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
See my review here on my blog! 😀 ...more
Deanne Patterson
This book is the first I've read by this author and I definitely look forward to reading more by her.
I'm not even sure how to describe my feelings with this book since it broke my heart! Excellent,excellent read.
When Alma was a young child her father stared a school for Indian children a “savage-taming” boarding school run by her father. Alma was the only white student there the students all had a super strict teacher. The Indian children don't trust Alma or the other whites there trying to co
Considering this is the author’s debut, it is actually very good. There are a number of great reviews out there or, like me, start the story because of the book editorial and go in blind. I would find it hard to believe if it does not tug at your emotions.
One of the things I like best about being a NetGalley reviewer is that it exposes me to authors and books I would have never come across. Between Earth and Sky is one of those precious gems. Amanda Skenadore's writing provides an accurate portrait of Native American boarding schools in the late 1800s. In the character of Harry Muskrat she questions the impact of forced assimilation on one's self-identity. A heartfelt story that brought me to tears.

A warm thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Publis
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Alma Mitchell revisits her childhood in Minnesota when her school friend Harry—or Asku, as Alma knew him— is accused of murdering a white man and faces execution.

This book has a plodding pace but offers a thorough examination of the treatment of Native Americans as they are forced to assimilate into white culture during the late 19th century.

May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was kind of depressing.
In “Between Earth and Sky” by Amanda Skenandore Is a debut novel about the forced assimilation of Native Americans. I wondered about the possibility of appropriation, being that the author is a white woman writing a historical novel about Native Americans (or is it Indians?). I found an interview of the author which addressed the subject. Though she is not Native American, her husband is Oneida and her mother-in-law is Ojibwe. Skenandore is a common name in these tribes. The author explained tha ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the ARC.

While education and assimilation might have been good intentions, for the Native American children taken from the Reservations and forced to become copies of White Man, Stover School is a prison.
Alma is the founder's daughter and grows up stuck in the middle between right and wrong. She befriends the children and although they are forced to speak English, she learns some of their native tongue.
This proves to come in handy years later, when o
Between Earth and Sky is a powerful and poignant exploration of the residential school system in the US during the late 19th century. It was nice to learn more about this significant part of history because it continues to have an impact even today. Although the story is based on American residential schools, the story is also relevant to Canadian history.

The story starts in 1906 with Alma Michell reading a newspaper article about an old friend from her days living at her father's residential s
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A murder mystery set in 1906 Philadelphia.I'm in. ...more
Susan Peterson
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written book left me in tatters, tears flowing. This book tugged at my heartstrings, my emotions all over the place, overwhelmed by love, dismay, shame, grief, courage. This book is a breathtaking story that took me back in time from 1881-1906, a time of turmoil and despair, particularly among the Native American tribes whose homes, cultures...their entire way of life...were being taken away. The author did an outstanding job of putting us in that time and place not only physica ...more
Randee Green
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

I have read a lot of great books so far in 2018 (according to my Goodreads Reading Challenge I’m up to 36 books so far this year), and I can honestly say that BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY by Amanda Skenandore is the best one I’ve read so far. Skenandore’s debut novel, which will be published by Kensington on April 24, 2018, is a compelling and heartbreaking historical fiction set in the 1880s and early 1900s. The novel alternates between the main chara
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy reading historical fiction and love it even more when I learn about events that I didn't know about while I am reading. Between Earth and Sky does just that and more. The book is about the treatment of Indian children in the late 1800s when many of them were taken from their homes and families and moved to boarding schools. Their language and their traditions were stripped away from them as they were being 'civilized'. In the second time period in the novel - 1906 - we are shown the rami ...more
When her former classmate, Henry/Asku, a Native American, is accused of murder, Alma is sure he's innocent and is determined to help him. Alternating between the present (1906 in this case) when Alma and her husband, Stewart, are trying to exonerate Henry/Asku and the past (1881-1891) during Alma's days as a student at the Stover School for Indians, I found this debut enthralling and educational.

As the only white girl in a class full of Native Americans (and her father the administrator to boot
Dianne Biscoe
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story tugged at my mind and my heart strings as I read it. Difficult to put down once you start reading page 1. I am so struck by society's desire to "fix" other folks lives to be more like "ours" and how we continue to do this in 2018! Will we EVER learn?!

Great it, borrow it or whatever but READ it! I admit I got this book from my local library and did not purchase it.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I will upload my review after Library Journal prints it.
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1881: Seven-year-old Alma and her family have moved west to start a school. A school for Indians. Here, the tribal children will learn to integrate into society. To lose their Indian ways and become Americans. It's her father's one true passion and Alma is excited to be part of it all.

1906: An Indian has been arrested, accused of murdering a federal agent, and awaiting trial out west. When Alma sees the story she knows it can't be true - the accused is her friend, Harry Muskrat, a man she's kno
I am a big fan of historical fiction and I especially enjoy books that focus on time periods or events that I know little about, so after reading the summary of Between Earth and Sky, I clamored to be on the book tour. Set in Wisconsin in the late 1800s and then again in 1906, the novel starts with the main character Alma, finding a newspaper article "Indian Man Faces Gallows For Murder Of Federal Agent." The name of the accused, Harry Muskrat, is one Alma immediately recognizes, he was a childh ...more
Gregory Kompes
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Skenandore's debut novel is an interesting, evenly paced, well-written exploration of 19th century Indian Schools in America. The writing and descriptions are rich and compelling and the historic details are masterly woven into the book. I look forward to more work from this author. ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent book
Mary Eve
Loved everything about this book and it has rightfully earned its place on my All-Time Faves shelf. Books rarely make me cry, but when they do, it's BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY. Fabulous historical fiction that leaps off the page and into my heart.

Special thanks to author Amanda Skenandore for introducing me to her world of writing. Amanda shared a copy with me through a giveaway on her social media sites. For ever grateful. Enjoyed my time reading this one. :)
Jennifer Schmitt
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a remarkable story, and from a first time author! Amanda Skenandore uses her amazing story telling to shed light on an aspect of often untold US history. You confront your own ideas and assumptions of our past with the Native Americans right along side the main character Alma. I highly recommend this book!
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AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Interview with Amanda Skenaandore 5 10 Oct 12, 2019 09:02AM  
Free Books, .99, ...: Giveaway - One Copy of Between Earth and Sky. 1 11 Apr 30, 2018 11:12AM  

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Amanda is the author of BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY, winner of the American Library Association's 2019 Reading List Award for Best Historical Fiction, and THE UNDERTAKER'S ASSISTANT, coming from Kensington in July 2019.

She grew up in the mountains of Colorado and sang and danced her way through 68 cities on both sides of the Atlantic with the service organization Up with People before starting college.

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Readers have a lot to look forward to this year! Just feast your eyes upon all of these debut books to check out and emerging authors to...
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