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A Snake Falls to Earth Hardcover – Nov. 23 2021
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National Indie Bestseller
National Book Award Longlist
Minneapolis Star Tribune Best of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best of the Year
Kirkus Best the Year
Apple Best of the Year
Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
New York Public Library's Best of the Year
Autostraddle's Best Queer Books of the Year
"A spellbinding tale."—Texas Monthly
★ "Evokes the timeless feeling of listening to traditional oral storytelling."—Kirkus (starred)
★ "Fun, imaginative, and deeply immersive, this story will be long in the minds of readers."—Publishers Weekly (starred)
★ "Magical, stunning, and wholly original."—Booklist (starred)
"A highly descriptive story which absorbs the audience into its world, readers will become invested in reading until the very end."—School Library Connection
A Snake Falls to Earth is a breathtaking work of Indigenous futurism. Darcie Little Badger draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure to weave another unforgettable tale of monsters, magic, and family. It is not to be missed.
Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She's always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.
Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he's been cast from home. He's found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.
Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli's best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven't been in centuries.
And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.
From the Publisher
"[STAR] “Evokes the timeless feeling of listening to traditional oral storytelling.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred),
""Though the stakes are high, Little Badger takes time to explore the ways that other species and cultures move through space and time, and what is lost when those ways of seeing disappear. " — Minneapolis Star Tribune,
"“Draws on her scientific training and tribal storytelling to weave a spellbinding tale.” — Texas Monthly,
""Themes of magic, family, asexuality, and traditional storytelling dominate in Lipan Apache author Darcie Little Badger’s delightful and uplifting second YA novel. A Lipan girl named Nina collides with Oli who is from the land of spirits and monsters. But some people will do anything to keep them apart. This is a wholesome, elegantly written read guaranteed to warm your heart!" — Autostraddle,
“If Elatsoe was a ten out of ten, then A Snake Falls to Earth is a solid 11. This book could have been twice as long and I still would have begged for more. Although aimed at a young-adult audience, it has the kind of easy appeal and heartfelt tone that will entice younger kids and older adults as well. Anyone reading or buying YA needs to add this to their shelves immediately.” — Locus
“This is a delightful and imaginative novel with alternating protagonists. One is Nina, a teenager trying to translate a story told by her great-great-grandmother in her native Athabaskan language, Lipan. The other is Oli, a cottonmouth snake with the ability to shapeshift, who is learning to find his way after being pushed from the nest. Climate change features, informed by the author’s geoscience degree and PhD in oceanography. Another theme is linguistic diversity and the crucial role of storytelling in keeping cultures alive. A Snake Falls to Earth is also very much a story of friendship.”—Five Books
"[STAR] “Fun, imaginative, and deeply immersive, this story will be long in the minds of readers.”— Publishers Weekly (starred),
"[STAR] “Magical, stunning, and wholly original.”—Booklist (starred),
"“A highly descriptive story with open dialogue which absorbs the audience into its world, readers will become invested in reading until the very end."—School Library Connection,
"“Little Badger’s new genre-bending narrative draws on her heritage and the tradition of story-telling that has informed her worldview.”—TIME,
""Her work is magical for all ages."—Den of Geek,
"“Undeniably charming. There is no pretension in the writing, no forced attempts at being on trend, and yet it is completely relevant—whether it is that certain characters are asexual, or use the pronoun they, or the power of the internet, or whether it is the frightening, timely talk of rapid climate change and how it effects more lives than just those of humans, whether it is to remind us that our longevity as humans is intertwined with that of other species, and with that of the earth, or whether it is to remind us of what is most important, the one thing that may save us all—the power of stories, and community.”—Tor.com,
About the Author
- Publisher : Levine Querido (Nov. 23 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1646140923
- ISBN-13 : 978-1646140923
- Item weight : 708 g
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.56 x 21.72 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #189,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Apache folklore as here depicted is peopled by animal spirits, who have "true forms", which are animals, and "false forms", which resemble humans. The second protagonist, Oli, is one of these: he's a cottonmouth snake. The spirits live in a world that is mostly separate from Earth but is linked to it. After some initial coming-of-age type adventures, Oli settles comfortably in the spirit world, where he makes friends of some of the other animals. One of his friends falls ill, and the healer tells him the problem is on Earth. Oli finds a way to travel to Earth, where he and Nina help each other out.
I enjoyed this introduction to Apache folklore, about which I knew almost nothing. (And therefore I can say nothing about how accurate a representation of that folklore it is.) It was also an entertaining story, probably well targeted for Middle Grades.
The little girl grown to a teenager is recording tales her great grandma told her.in a strange mixture of two American Indian tribal languages and Spanish. The Spanish is not so hard to figure out but there are no dictionaries for Lipan and the other tribal language but with much research she pieces together the story of animals with human forms. These creatures used to live on earth with regular humans. Something happened and now all the animals with human forms live in a pseudo earth but can travel back to earth for a short time.
With great surprise Nina, the girl, welcomes a snake human form named Oli, twin foxes and a hawk named Brightness. They have come to save an nearly extinct species of toad so their friend Eli a tiny dying toad can live.
Meanwhile a hurricane is bearing down and about to destroy Grandma's house and property where the toads used to live. Will this strange crew be able to save Grandma and her property and the toads of Texas?
A good read and makes you want to hear the continuing adventures of Oli, Risk and Reign the foxes and Brightness and the mockingbird who can shape shift into many different forms.
trip. Kittens, wolves, snakes, frogs, catfish, coyotes, and people all learned to get along; wish the wider world could follow their lead.
This is a lovely second book by an American writer who redefines American to include Apache culture, just as it should. It's a pleasure to read and even an action epic (roping a tornado, lol), so I'm glad my library sponsored it as a read together book.
Looking forward to what comes next!
Definitely suitable for readers 11 and older, with no subjects or scenes that should be of concern to a parent. It would be a great story to share with a younger reader (upper elementary or older).