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He who dreams
2017
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Summary
Juggling soccer, school, friends and family leaves John with little time for anything else. But one day at the local community center, following the sound of drums, he stumbles into an Indigenous dance class. Before he knows what's happening, John finds himself stumbling through beginner classes with a bunch of little girls, skipping soccer practice and letting his other responsibilities slide. When he attends a pow wow and witnesses a powerful performance, he realizes that he wants to be a dancer more than anything. But the nearest class for boys is at the Native Cultural Center in the city, and he still hasn't told his family or friends about his new passion. If he wants to dance, he will have to stop hiding. Between the mocking of his teammates and the hostility of the boys in his dance class, John must find a way to balance and embrace both the Irish and Cree sides of his heritage.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 6-9-Orca's "Limelights" series, which focuses on teens involved in art, music, and dance, continues with three new volumes. In Strings Attached, Brielle is a cellist who reluctantly takes over as first chair in the City Youth Orchestra after her best friend Tawni is injured in a sports accident. When Tawni returns, Brielle must decide whether to support her friend or follow her dreams. In He Who Dreams, Josh is a half-Irish, half-Cree soccer player who unexpectedly discovers a passion for Aboriginal dance. Though he faces derision from both his friends and fellow dancers, he must learn to accept himself and embrace his heritage. The ambitious Adina wants her team to be the best at their school's annual fashion show in Show Mode, but her perfectionism pushes her friends away. Each book has authentic, high-interest teen drama and deals with issues such as friendship, cultural identity, extreme dieting, and teamwork. VERDICT Written at a fourth grade reading level, this series will be particularly appealing to hi-lo middle school readers interested in the performing arts. © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
With his father's red hair and fair Irish skin, no one would guess that John McCaffrey was half Native American, but he is. His mom is an aboriginal Cree, and John has never felt more in touch with those roots than the day he follows a drumbeat through the halls of the community center to a traditional Native American dance class. He is fiercely drawn to the art, but when rehearsal starts digging into soccer practice, the coach and team turn against him. Even worse: indigenous dancers at the Native Cultural Center harass him for being the white guy. His desire beats inside him like a drum, but how much can he take before he gives up his dream of dancing in the Pow Wow Grand Entry? This is a compelling, highly original story of one boy's experience of wanting to be part of his cultural heritage despite not looking the part. Florence herself of Cree and Scottish descent includes a warm, supportive, diverse family unit, and deftly navigates topics like secrets, bullying, and standing up for your passions.--Worthington, Becca Copyright 2017 Booklist
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