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Morning Girl Paperback – January 1, 1900


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Frequently Bought Together

Morning Girl + Encounter (Voyager Books) + Pedro's Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus, August 3, 1492-February 14, 1493
Price for all three: $16.88

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reissue edition (January 1, 1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078681358X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786813582
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A peaceful, tropical world is the setting for Morning Girl, a simple yet rich glimpse into the lives of a young sister and brother. Morning Girl and Star Boy grapple with timeless, universal issues such as experiencing simultaneous anger and love toward family members and the quest to discover the true self. As all siblings do, these children respond to, play off of, and learn from each other. Precisely where Morning Girl and Star Boy are growing up is not revealed, but it's clearly a place where the residents have no modern amenities. Living in harmony with nature is a necessary priority here, and--given the descriptive names of the characters--a Native Indian culture seems likely. But not until the epilogue do readers discover that the story takes place in 1492. Suddenly we realize that the strange-looking visitors Morning Girl welcomes to shore are not as harmless as they may appear. The excerpt from Christopher Columbus's journal provides an ominous footnote: these gentle people, who seem so very much like us, will not be permitted their idyllic existence much longer. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In a starred, boxed review, PW praised this "soulful, affecting portrait" of a Bahamian family in 1492. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on November 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Morning Girl," by Michael Dorris, is a short novel that is told in the first person by two of its characters, Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy. The chapters alternate between these characters' two voices. The children live with their parents in an island village; their community has a pre-industrial culture.
Morning Girl and her brother have the type of conflict you might expect between a sister and her sometimes annoying younger brother. This relationship is explored against the backdrop of the children's culture and the island setting. I particularly liked the character of Star Boy: he's experiencing some emotional growing pains as he yearns for respect while still engaging in some childish actions. An important theme in the book is the naming tradition of the children's culture.
Dorris writes in a clear, poetic prose style that is touched by a mystical element. And don't miss the startling epilogue which pulls the whole story into focus.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Instead of reading this book for plot, try reading it as a poem, in book form. The book paints emotions and images and experiences that are wonderful to feel. These things are so much more important than the plot, in which the Spanish don't show up until the last five pages. This is a book about naming and being and growing up. It is excellent for adults (I agree that this is not exactly a children's book, although some children might understand it) who are dreamers, who dream of becoming a rock or a breath of wind.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Morning Girl takes place in the late 1400's when Christopher Columbus discovered a Bahamian Island. While Christopher was there, he wrote an entry saying that he was taking 6 of the natives back to England to teach them English. The family that the book focuses on endures a course of events that includes an unborn child dying, a family member running away, a strange meeting, and a new name. The main character Morning Girl is almost exactly the opposite of her brother, Star Boy. Star Boy loves the dark and is always up at night. But in the afternoons, Star Boy is sound asleep. However, Morning Girl is up at the crack of dawn, so Star Boy and Morning Girl only cross paths in the evenings. My favorite scene in the book included my two favorite characters. Morning Girl was curious about her face and her mother suggested that Morning Girl could trace her face with her hand to allow her to picture in her mind what she looked like. I liked Morning Girl and her Mother because I thought if they were alive today they would be nice people to meet.
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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Lidja on November 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm posting this review because there may be other teachers out there who think this might be a good book for them to read to their class. Don't make the mistake I made.

I am a fifth grade teacher. This book is recommended in some of our grade-level curriculum guides, so I decided to purchase it and read it in class thinking it would create a nice bridge between literature and social studies. (We study explorers and the discovery of the New World.) Unfortunately, the book offered very little plot, too much reflection from isolated points of view, and very awkward pacing to allow for a good read-aloud experience. My fifth-graders hung in there with me as I read the whole book over the course of a few weeks, but it was not a very satisfying experience. (It took us a few weeks because the book wasn't interesting enough to keep our attention - we would go days without reading it rather than give up more interesting activities we were doing.)

This book might provide a valuable reading experience to students who read it individually and then discuss it in a small group setting with an adult facilitator.

The book isn't bad - it's just not a good read-aloud book. The language is too ponderous. The plot is hard to decipher. There is no excitement or energy. It has a maturity that makes it feel like it is a book written to appeal to adult reviewers of children's books - not to appeal to real children. (Just the fact that the main characters are children doesn't mean children will relate!)
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Serendipity5 on November 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am saddened to hear this beautiful book called boring in some of these reviews. Obviously the true message Michael Dorris gives is missed. The author paints a very vivid picture of how close this family is, how they belong to a real community of loving people, and how they are much like the contemporary family today. Then comes Christopher Columbus to snatch the Tainos from the Island and whisk them to Spain to become "real people". What a great discussion this book leads. This is one book that may not be picked up willingly by young hands, but needs to be suggested. Then, watch the discussion begin!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It is incredibly powerful and emotional. Morning Girl and herbrother Star Boy are full-dimensional characters - Taino people in1492. The book shows several aspects of their lives before the Europeans come along. Children should read this book to understand other cultures.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
The reason for writing this review is it is an assignment in my 7th grade Humanities class. I liked that this story was based on two different points of view. I did not like that the book was so confusing because they had odd names. Then I also liked that they are such a close family. I'm rating this book three stars because it is confusing. Then also it was written a long time ago. I would recommend this book to teens and older because it is hard to understand.
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