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Apple in the Middle
  • Price: $25.95
  • Hardcover
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North Dakota State University Press
Pub Date: 2018
ISBN: 9781946163073
Dawn Quigley
Apple in the Middle
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Apple in the Middle

by Dawn Quigley

Apple Starkington turned her back on her Native American heritage the moment she was called a racial slur for someone of white and Indian descent, not that she really even knew how to be an Indian in the first place. Too bad the white world doesn't accept her either. And so begins her quirky habits to gain acceptance. Apple's name, chosen by her Indian mother on her deathbed, has a double meaning: treasured apple of my eye, but also the negative connotation a person who is red, or Indian, on the outside, but white on the inside. After her wealthy father gives her the boot one summer, Apple reluctantly agrees to visit her Native American relatives on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in northern North Dakota for the first time. Apple learns to deal with the culture shock of Indian customs and the Native Michif language, while she tries to find a connection to her dead mother. She also has to deal with a vengeful Indian man who loved her mother in high school but now hates Apple because her mom married a white man. Bouncing in the middle of two cultures, Apple meets her Indian relatives, shatters Indian stereotypes, and learns what it means to find her place in a world divided by color.

Apple in the Middle made me chuckle and it made me cry, but it always made me happy to be in the company of the quirky and quick-witted Apple as she journeys to connect with her Native grandparents. Through Apple's story, Dawn Quigley has written a funny, heartwarming love letter to her family and friends on the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe reservation.-- Carter Meland (White Earth Anishinaabe heritage), Minnesota Book Awards Finalist for his novel, Stories for a Lost Child.

I absolutely love how Quigley captures the distinct Turtle Mountain accent and, more importantly, the gentle lessons on tribal traditions the grandparents give, along with some truly humorous moments!--Denise K. Lajimodiere, enrolled citizen, Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, author of Dragonfly Dance, Thunderbird, and the forthcoming Stringing Rosaries: Stories from Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors.

Apple in the Middle speaks to any young person regardless of race or class who finds themselves in the middle. The storyline travels easily through any reader's imagination, and Quigley's fine grasp of storytelling is exactly what is needed to engage the young reader.--Marcie Rendon, citizen of the White Earth Ojibwe, author of Murder on the Red River and Powwow Summer.