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list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
category: Children's Fiction
published: Sep 2009
ISBN:9781894377300
publisher: Breakwater Books Ltd.

Raven, Stay by Me

by Luise van Keuren

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Description

Eleven-year-old Greenlander Inga Sigurdsdottir wakens on a cold and rocky coast after her Norse ship wrecks en route to “Vinland.” Her one comfort and companion is an injured raven she rescues. When she encounters Inuit hunters, both parties are terrified by the meeting. But when an exhausted Inga rescues a lost child, the girl’s mother insists that the stranded Inga be taken in.

As years pass, the raven becomes Inga’s guardian and comrade. Chance brings her into contact with a company of Norsemen, including her own uncle. Caught between the two cultures, she is compelled to choose between returning to Greenland with the Norse or staying with the Inuit.

About the Author

Luise van Keuren

L.W. van Keuren is a writer of fiction and drama for children, often with a strong connection to history. Her story “Highland Gray,” winner of the Ralph Nading Hill Prize, concerns a famous 19th century racehorse whose name is still enshrined in slate on his barn roof. Her play 109 Hats to Bennington was commissioned by the state of Vermont for its bicentennial and was performed in many schools and every county, and on the floor of the state legislature. The Remarkable Christmas Package (Blooming Tree Books, 2004) was inspired by an account in a 1907 newspaper. Professor Emerita from California University of Pennsylvania, she taught literature and creative writing for many years before becoming a full-time writer. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware and also studied abroad in Austria, Spain, and Ireland. She also is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. The author makes her home in mid-coast Maine with six cats and flock of geese.
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
9 to 11
Grade:
4 to 6
Editorial Reviews

van Keuren weaves this beautiful tale around a collection of historical artefacts to bring this period of history to life for children. As her main characters mature, she reveals the roles and responsibilities teenagers carried out at the time - providing an excellent resource for comparison to the world our children live in today. Appropriate for children in the junior and intermediate grades, this novel would complement the study of explorers to North America. It is a fresh perspective that looks at the interactions of the Norse and Inuit and opens students' minds to another period in Canadian history that is less traditionally discussed.

— Sandra O'Brien, Canadian Children's Book News

I was immediately drawn to this deep, language rich, and insightful story after reading the first page. The author pulled me into a time and place that was unfamiliar to me, yet her expressive style created a clear picture of Inga, an eleven-year-old Greenland girl shipwrecked off a rocky northern coastline and the telling of her different experiences and difficult decisions she makes along the way; van Keuren does a superb job of weaving words and valuable lessons into this powerful tale about cultural identity, bravery, survival, and a special friendship--including no ordinary raven. A great choice for middle school or junior high level readers.

— Dr. Joan C. Fingon, Professor of Reading and Education, California State University, Los Angeles

Raven, Stay by Me is a chapter book that any reader will enjoy whether read or read-to. A gem of a book in an ocean of printed word.

— Marilis Hornidge, Lincoln County News

I greatly enjoyed this touching love story. This historically authoritative and heart-warming tale lifts your imagination and brings to life what could indeed have been an actual scenario.

— Bernd Heinrich, Ph.D and author of Ravens in Winter

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Annotations

Top  Grade
Librarian review

Raven, Stay By Me

Eleven-year-old Greenlander Inga Sigurdsdottir wakens on a cold and rocky coast after her Norse ship wrecks en route to “Vinland.” Her one comfort and companion is an injured raven she rescues. When she encounters Inuit hunters, both parties are terrified by the meeting. But when an exhausted Inga rescues a lost child, the girl’s mother insists that the stranded Inga be taken in. Chance eventually brings her into contact with a company of Norsemen, including her own uncle. Caught between the two cultures, she is compelled to choose between returning to Greenland with the Norse or staying with the Inuit.

This book can be shared as an example of a survival story about a strong female character and her relationship with nature. Both Norse and Inuit cultures are central to this book. The language and lore of the world of ships is an added feature to Raven, Stay By Me, thus showing how informational text can successful be woven into fiction.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Raven, Stay By Me

When Inga Sigurdsdottir awakes on the beach of a strange land, she finds herself alone and frightened. The ship she was sailing on has vanished and her Grandmother is nowhere to be found. As Inga struggles to survive, she comes across an injured raven and he becomes her constant companion. Eventually Inga encounters a group of Inuit hunters known to her people, the Norse, as ‘skraelings’. Both she and the Inuit hunters are afraid of one another, but when Inga rescues a lost child she is taken in by the group and lives with them for many years. Eventually Inga comes across another group of Norsemen and her uncle is among them. Having had limited contact with the Inuit, the Norse still fear them and Inga is forced to make a very difficult decision to return to her own people in order to protect her adopted family.

L.W. (Luise) van Keuren weaves this beautiful tale around a collection of historical artefacts to bring this period of history to life for children. As her main characters mature, she reveals the roles and responsibilities teenagers carried out at the time – providing an excellent resource for comparison to the world our children live in today. Appropriate for children in the junior and intermediate grades, this novel would complement the study of explorers to North America. It is a fresh perspective that looks at the interactions of the Norse and Inuit and opens students’ minds to another period in Canadian history that is less traditionally discussed.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2010. Vol.33 No.2.

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