Review of Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior

Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior
by Carole Lindstrom; illus. by Bridget George
Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.
9/23    9781250795274    $18.99

Lindstrom (We Are Water Protectors, rev. 7/20; My Powerful Hair, rev. 3/23) introduces the mission of contemporary Indigenous water activist Autumn Peltier and her great-aunt, the late Josephine Henriette Mandamin (both Anishinaabe). The lyrical text, narrated by water itself (“I am nibi. I have a spirit. I have feelings. I remember”), is effective in its simplicity and highlights the belief that water is a living thing that needs us to “Speak for the water. Sing for the water. Dance for the water.” Grandma Josephine (“as she was lovingly known”) recognized the harmful effects of water pollution in the Great Lakes, and she took action. To raise awareness, she walked around the lakes carrying water in a copper pail and united women from other Indigenous communities—now known as the Mother Earth Water Walkers—to join the water protection movement and inform government leaders. “When Grandma Josephine journeyed on to the spirit world, Autumn…began to use her voice for me.” The colorful, flowing illustrations beautifully reflect and depict the nature of water. Peltier provides the book’s foreword; back matter includes more detailed information about Grandma Josephine’s and Autumn’s accomplishments, a glossary, and resources to “keep learning.”

From the November/December 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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