My awesome friend Carmen Peone was a new Young Adult historical book out!
Hannah’s Journey –
In the mountains of northeast Washington, sixteen-year-old Hannah Gardner fights for her childhood dream––to race horses with her adopted Indian Aunt Spupaleena. Her mother fears Hannah will get hurt. Frustrated with her daughter’s rebellious spirit, she threatens to send her away to Montana to live with an aunt Hannah’s never met.
To escape this perceived punishment, Hannah runs away to the Sinyekst village along the Columbia River to train with Spupaleena. After Hannah’s first race, an Indian boy pulls her off her horse and spews threats. When Running Elk comes to her rescue, Hannah plans their life together and possible marriage. Will this be the pathway to her freedom?
“Hannah Gardner!” Mama’s footsteps kept the same pace as Uncle Pekam’s hand drum during ceremonies. “What are you doing?”
“Think about what I have said.” Wind Chaser shoved my wrist, turned, and trotted away.
I dismounted and wiped the sweat off my brow with the sleeve of my shirtwaist.
“What are you wearing? Britches under your new calico skirt? This is absurd! No lady dresses nor acts in this manner. No daughter of mine, that is. Who is that boy and didn’t your pa and I tell you no more racing?” Mama set her hands on her hips. Her slight frame was no comparison for the growl in her voice.
My gaze dropped to the ground. “Yes, ma’am, you did tell me no more racing.” I pushed dirt around with the toe of my boot. “But I know I can ride as well as Aunt Spupaleena––”
“Hannah! Listen to me.” Mama placed a hand on my shoulder. “You know we are not like the Sinyekst. They come from the Arrow Lakes way up north in Canada. They are strong and––”
“And I’m just as––”
“That’s not what I mean.” Mama sighed. “We love them like family even though we are not blood. But we have different customs and practices. They have their ways and we have ours. No better, simply different. And yes, you are an accomplished rider. Darling, there is no future for a young lady like you to race horses. Your future is with a husband and raising children. That’s the way things are. Please––”
“No! Those are your plans, not mine. You know I’d rather be in a saddle than bent over an iron stove, stirring a pot of beans.” I rubbed my wrist. “Yes, someday I want to have a husband and children, but for now, I wanna race. I know how to garden, quilt, sew, tend to the sick. You’ve taught me those skills. Let me do this before I choose to settle down.”
Reviews for Hannah’s Journey:
“Hannah’s Journey is a coming-of-age story about a defiant young girl who seeks to follow her heart’s desires. The story takes the reader on Hannah’s struggle for equality and dignity as she fights for the right to race horses with the boys. Details of tribal culture, food and daily life bring to life what it was like to be a young Native American in southwestern Washington in 1870, forced to share the land with white settlers. The story is more powerful because while these young people attend to the serious business of survival, they retain a playfulness and humor that is contagious and entertaining. This story flows like a western two-step; the pacing is as memorizing as the story. Clearly Carmen Peone lives within the culture she writes about, because the story is shaded with authenticity. Subtle back-story devises create a desire to read the entire series, but the story feels complete on its own. Subtle mention of sex and reproduction is expressed through the point of view of the young protagonist. Appropriate for middle grade and older readers, and adult readers who seek a deeper understanding of Indian culture. “–
Anne Schroeder, Award-winning author
“Carmen Peone’s expert horsemanship and knowledge of northeast Washington territory shines through in the second of her Gardner Sibling Trilogy, Hannah’s Journey. At sixteen, Hannah is the oldest child of a mid-1800’s pioneering ranch family. Hannah’s burning desire to race horses with her adopted Indian Aunt Spupaleena is a constant worry to her parents. They fear not only that she ll be injured, but that their daughter is not preparing herself for the expected future role of wife, homemaker, and mother. Hannah’s parents aren’t the only ones against her racing. The Indian boys resent her barging into their sport. Not only is she a girl, but a white girl. The only encouragement she gets is from Aunt Spupaleena and Spupaleena’s brother Pekam. Heedless of others opinion, Hannah participants in a difficult, dangerous race. Not only is there danger in the race itself riding horseback fast on uneven terrain but also enduring vengeful rough treatment from other racers. It’s a bold, bloody event. Hannah’s parents, frustrated and worried about their daughter’s rebellious behavior, threaten to send her to live with an aunt in Montana, a fate totally unacceptable to Hannah. She runs away to the Sinyekst village along the Columbia River, the village of her Aunt Spupaleena. Hannah’s Journey delves into many of life’s challenges, especially of a young girl with non-traditional dreams. Along the way she must learn to exercise patience, to have faith, to slow down and pray for guidance. She learns that life comes with compromise, and sacrifice. Life isn’t easy and for someone with extraordinary desires, it’s even more difficult. I found Hannah’s Journey an absorbing, well-written book, a story intriguing to a wide audience. The author speaks with authority about Indian history, and the Sinyekst people. Peone is knowledgeable about the northeast Washington area, the Columbia River and the diverse area surrounding it. Many of this novel’s characters have appeared in the author’s previous books (The Heart Trilogy), but the transition into this second book of the Gardner Sibling Trilogy is smooth and stands alone.” —
Mary Trimble, Award-winning author
Carmen Peone has lived in Northeast Washington, on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation, since 1988 gleaning cultural knowledge from family and friends. She had worked with tribal elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes-Sinyekst- Language and various cultural traditions and legends. She has owned and trains and competes in Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail Competitions. She lives with her husband/tribal member Joe. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. She came to love the people and their heritage and wanted to create a legacy for her family.
Links to Social Media:
Website and blog: http://carmenpeone.com/