banished by Christy Monson

Include “Banished” On Your Must-Read List

Banished by acclaimed author Christy Monson is a coming-of-age tale about a young Native American boy named Dre.

banished by Christy Monson

Dre has worked and waited 12 summers to become a man, but just as the time approaches the chief banished Dre, his pregnant mother and his uncle from the clan because of his uncle’s disruptive behavior in the clan.

Sent on their own into the desert with an abusive, drug-addicted uncle, Dre must learn how to protect himself and his mother–and keep them safe not only from the uncle, but also from the dangers of their harsh environment.

Dre struggles to find water, food and shelter with help only from a golden eagle. During the course of the story, Dre must learn to trust his instincts, and he must also learn to overcome his fears and trust other people, not an easy task for a boy who feels abandoned by first his father, who died when he was young, and then by his clan.

As Dre works to protect his mother and to provide food and shelter for both of them, he reluctantly makes a friend in Toho, a boy from another clan. As the two begin to know each other, Dre begins to learn important lessons of trust, cooperation and perseverance.

This well-written story includes elements of adventure, danger and self-discovery, along with a little bit of mystery, and moves through the story at a pace that keeps the reader’s attention. Christy Monson is a master of historical fiction and Banished won writing awards even before its publication.

Banished is written for the middle-grade audiences, and though it features boys, adventure-loving girls will also enjoy this story. Had it been published before my children were all grown, this book would definitely have found a spot in our nightly family reading. Banished is an engaging story for readers of all ages and an effortless introduction to elements of Native American culture.

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