Title: Pale as the MoonPale as the Moon
Author: Donna Campbell
Pages: 104
Reading Level: 7-10
Star Rating:

Shiny as the moon, too?

The Story.

Gray Squirrel hears the voice of the pony on the island. She has heard stories from the elders of how the horses were brought to the American shores many moons ago and abandoned by the white explorers who returned to their homeland. More than anything else, Gray Squirrel wishes to tame this pony. Over the summer, she makes headway – she brings cobs of corn for the pony to eat, and gradually accepts her touch and voice, too. But before she can try to ride him, her summer’s stay on the island ends and she must return to her home for the winter.

Will Heita Hoonoch, as she names the colt, still be there the next year? And what do these strange dreams mean – these dreams that the white men will return?

Discussion.

Pale As the Moon is a story steeped in lore and mysticism. After Gray Squirrel returns home, she begins having dreams – “spirit dreams”, they call them – in which she and Heita Hoonoch are together and they foresee the future. Her main vision is a recurring one of the return of Europeans, which comes true in the form of the Virginia Dare colony, but she also has other dreams which give her knowledge of terrain she has never crossed and other such information. The story makes it clear that her relationship with Heita Hoonoch is a crucial aspect of her visionary powers, and she calls him her brother.

There are no problems as far as romance, language, or violence.

Conclusion. Not a book I would recommend – it offers an alternative understanding of the disappearance of the Lost Colony, but it is not one which seems supported by evidence.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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