14/24 Book Reflection
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Ohkay Owingeh)
“Hard and fast and merciless like I’ve been taught.” The first in a new series, this book is… well at times it leaves me breathless. To see these oral traditions brought to life in a new story makes my heart so happy. I hope to see this book and the rest of the future series in YA collections everywhere. Read this book if you like dystopian futures with magical elements.
A Note: This book is not without it’s controversy. Some believe that Roanhorse shared too much sacred information. However Roanhorse is Ohkay Owingeh and her spouse and daughter are Navajo. This gives her access to traditional knowledge. That alone is not enough to support her sharing of scared things, but until I see Navajo people speak against her writings I will assume that she has both blessing and authority to write as she does. I am not a member of the Nation involved and unless I see disrespect (which I super don’t) it’s not my place to say what can and cannot be shared of another Tribal Nation’s culture. From my reading I found language and some religious stories to be the only specifics shared and those are easily accessible to most people, should they wish to learn.
UPDATE: Many Navajo people have come out against Roanhorse’s book because of the sharing and mischaracterization of sacred knowledge.
A collection of responses to the book can be found here.
Concerns about Roanhorse’s TRAIL OF LIGHTNING
So, here’s a thing that is happening: the more I learn about my field and the more I learn about myself through grad school and my job as an ALT, the more my professional plan changes. My focus was YA librarianship with the plan that I can try to work as a consultant for educational games, but a recent disagreement with a professor has shown me a different possibility.
Yes, I would still love to help make games that reach children and I may even still do that… someday, but my true vision for myself is as an advocate for respectful representation in media, specifically Indigenous representation. Video games, television, books, history classes… I’m casting a wide net here and I’m doing it on purpose. Everyone should be able to see themselves represented truthfully.
Local public libraries are the perfect place to work on that!
I’m so thankful for this experience I’m getting from grad school and teaching. I’ve learned so much about myself and about what I want to do with my life. I’ve been so confused. All I knew was that I wanted to be a librarian. That I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know what kind of library or who I wanted to focus on helping, but now it’s a lot more clear.
In a few months I’ll be applying for jobs back in Austin. I hope to get hired as a YA Librarian. I want to help build a collection that is truthfully and honestly diverse in its representation.
I’m also planning on continuing my education after my MLS. I want to be taken seriously in the fight for representation and I have a lot more learn.
My Library: https://rikikikitaco.libib.com
Currently Reading: House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle
Currently Playing: Earthbound/3DS; Elder Scrolls Skyrim/Switch; The Longest 5 Minutes/Switch
Reading List: Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore; Starvation Mode by Elissa Washuta
Playing List: Wonderboy, Bayonetta 2, Skyrim, LoZ A Link Between Worlds, Culdcept Revolt; Bayonetta/Switch; Stella Glow/3DS; Detective Pikachu/3DS