Blessing's Bead by Debby Dahl Edwardson

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Nutaaq and her older sister, Aaluk, are on a great journey, sailing from a small island off the coast of Alaska to the annual trade fair. There, a handsome young Siberian wearing a string of cobalt blue beads watches Aaluk “the way a wolf watches a caribou, never resting.” Soon his actions—and other events more horrible than Nutaaq could ever imagine—threaten to shatter her I~nupiaq world. Seventy years later, Nutaaq’s greatgranddaughter, Blessing, is on her own journey, running from the wreckage of her life in Anchorage to live in a remote Arctic village with a grandmother she barely remembers. In her new home, unfriendly girls whisper in a language she can’t understand, and Blessing feels like an outsider among her own people. Until she finds a cobalt blue bead—Nutaaq’s bead—in her grandmother’s sewing tin. The events this discovery triggers reveal the power of family and heritage to heal, despite seemingly insurmountable odds.

Two distinct teenage voices pull readers into the native world of northern Alaska in this beautifully crafted and compelling debut novel.

About Debby Dahl Edwardson

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Debby Dahl Edwardson lives in Barrow, Alaska. Her first book, Blessing's Bead, was a Booklist Top 10 First Novel for Youth, a Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth, and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection.
Published November 10, 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 192 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In 1917, two Iñupiaq sisters are separated when one marries a Siberian and crosses the Soviet “Ice Curtain.” In 1989, Blessing—great-granddaughter of the other sister—heads to Barrow, Alaska, to stay with her aaka (grandmother) while her mother is in treatment for alcoholism.

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