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The Girl Who Lived With the Bears
Illustrated by Andrew Plewes
Published by Gulliver Books/Harcourt Brace & Co., 1997
ISBN: 0152006842, Hardcover
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ISBN: 081725738, Library Binding, Raintree
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Reading level: Ages 4-8

 
When a spoiled young chief's daughter sets out to collect berries, she sees no reason to sing bear songs. Twice the berries in her basket mysteriously spill, but still she refuses to show respect for the powerful bears. As darkness falls two men appear, and the girl joins them, thinking they will lead her home. Instead, they guide her to the bear's village. There the bears confront the young woman, challenging her thoughtless, haughty ways.

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One of the most popular traditional tales told by the Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian and Ahtna peoples of the Pacific Northwest, this wise and dramatic story explores the delicate relationship between humans and animals, and one young woman's hard-earned knowledge of love and respect.
 
Text and artwork checked for accuracy by Bill Holm, author of Spirit and Ancestor.
 
Barbara Diamond Goldin says, "I first came across this story in a library collection when I lived in Washington State. At the time I was volunteering as a storyteller in a Head Start class on a Lummi reservation and was sharing different kinds of stories with the preschoolers. I went to the library looking for Lummi stories and found a wealth of stories from the native peoples of the region."
 
"The story of the girl who insulted the bears especially appealed to me. Like the young woman in the story, I had just come to live in a totally different place from what I knew as home. I was missing that home and was becoming used to a new life.
 
In addition, I was impressed with what the story teaches about the delicate balance or harmony that exists between people and animals in the natural world, and the respect people should have for this world. The idea around which the story is built—that animals can shed their skins or scales or feathers and transform into humans, that all is not as it seems—also caught my imagination."
 
"Native American myth from the Pacific Northwest ...a graceful and poignant retelling."
--Publisher's Weekly, An American Bookseller's Pick of the lists

This book is out of print. Available in libraries and from stores and websites that sell out of print books, such as www.bibliofind.com.

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Text © 2001-2008 Barbara Diamond Goldin / Illustrations © 2001 Marylin Hafner
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