Monday, December 7, 2015

REVIEW TIME: Wabanaki Blues by Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel

Wabanaki Blues is the story of Mona Lisa LaPierre, a New Hampshire girl of Indian heritage who is trying to make her life as a Blues musician. She planned to start her career after her high school graduation, but her parents have different plans. Her mom and dad are going away to Russia for a month to study ancient bear sacrifices, and they have decided to make her isolated from all civilization with her Mohegan grandfather, Grumps. Grumps is an Indian that is stuck in the past, who lives in a cabin with little to no electricity, and almost no modern conveniences.

Mona expects life up in rural Vermont to be dull and boring due to this revelation, but she surprises even herself when she becomes friends with a college kid named Del. Del and Mona get along nicely until she notices that Del’s dad is the owner of a green-flamed motorcycle, the motorcycle that was seen driving away from her very own school when a student named Mia Delaney disappeared forever. This disappearance was one that always haunted Mona’s mom. Alongside with Biliki, Mona’s dead Abenaki grandmother who gives her guidance, Mona is determined to solve the disappearance of Mia Delaney once and for all.

This book surprised, in a very good way. My first impression of Mona and the book as a whole was that this book was another “misunderstood teenager in high school attempts to solve mystery that the police can’t,” but this book developed into something distinctly different than that later on.

While the book’s main mystery is the mystery of Mia Delaney, intertwined in the story is the Secret of Wabanaki, something she learns more and more about through her Indian relatives. In my opinion this book tries to mix a modern mystery with Indian traditions and stories, which it does with moderate success.

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