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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

In Amanda Skenandore’s provocative and profoundly moving debut, set in the tragic intersection between white and Native American culture, a young girl learns about friendship, betrayal, and the sacrifices made in the name of belonging. 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’…

Between Earth and Sky

by Amanda Skenandore

Overall Book Review:

Between Earth and Sky is a riveting work of historical fiction. Author Amanda Skenandore writes this thought-provoking story from an oft-forgotten time during American history. The plot is steady in pacing and intriguing in concept, with mystery and heartbreak along the way. Main character Alma is a complex creature, haunted by her past and struggling to find a place to belong. Readers will enjoy learning about the Native American cultures featured in the book. Skendandore should be commended for her extensive research and use of multiple Native American languages. Between Earth and Sky would make an ideal book club read, as there is much to ponder, process, and debate. Discussion questions are even included, so grab a copy (and a friend to share it with) today!

Review of an Advance Reader Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Kensington Publishing

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  4 religious exclamations; 5 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore:  Several secondhand reports of violence including murder, scars indicating physical beatings, and talk of massacres; several brief incidents of violence including characters slapping other, fistfights, one man throwing another down, a character is tied up and beaten; a character is involved in an accident including blood and gore; a brief scene of intense violence includes a lynching. 

Sex/Nudity:  Several incidents of kissing; a brief non-sexual depiction of nudity involving bathing; a sexual reference and reported incident of sexual activity; a brief incident of sexual activity without explicit detail between minors. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Forced assimilation, drinking, corruption, racism, illegal arms trading, embezzlement, massacre, murder, dysfunctional relationships, hanging, amputation. 

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A few characters are referred to as “drunk”; drinking occurs throughout the novel; several characters smoke. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.