When Joshua’s mother leaves him with his grandfather, Joshua gets to explore his Native heritage. Joshua is a gay Native teen struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and discovering his Native heritage.
When family complications take Joshua away from his fundamentalist Christian mother and leave him with his grandfather, he finds himself immersed in a mysterious and magical world. Joshua’s grandfather is a Wisconsin Ojibwe Indian who, along with an array of quirky characters, runs a recreated sixteenth-century village for the tourists who visit the reservation. Joshua’s mother kept him from his Ojibwe heritage, so living on the reservation is liberating for him. The more he learns about Ojibwe traditions, the more he feels at home.
One Ojibwe legend in particular captivates him. Pukawiss was a powerful manitou known for introducing dance to his people, and his nontraditional lifestyle inspires Joshua to embrace both his burgeoning sexuality and his status as an outcast. Ultimately, Joshua summons the courage necessary to reject his strict upbringing and to accept the mysterious path set before him.
Cis boys: Joshua, Mokwa
Ojibwe: Gentle Eagle, Mokwa
Midewiwin: Mokwa, Gentle Eagle
See this review by renowned Nambe Pueblo Indian critic Debbie Reese about the harmful stereotypes and misrepresentation of Ojibwe culture and beliefs in this book.