The Night the White Deer Died by Gary Paulsen

() This novella is evidence that it is very possible to create stories so full of ‘impressive’ literary elements that the essence of the story is shattered.
This tale surrounds an fifteen-year-old Anglo-Saxon (white) girl who lives a very introverted life among a New Mexico town. She is ‘pretty’ and has positive attention coming her way, along with jealousy, hatred, and fear because of her race. (The area is predominately Native American and Hispanic.) However, the only male she develops any feelings for is one of the town drunks, a man who was once the mayor of the town. He’s too old for her, but he’s only man who is not trying to hide behind a ‘macho’ persona. He’s also the same man who appears as an Indian warrior in many of her reoccurring but never-concluding dreams. The end is very confusing, but she does finally complete her dream puzzle.
This is short, but not sweet. I expected much more from a Newbery Honor Book author. Gary Paulsen does have some great works though, such as The Giver.


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