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Tessa's Dance (Medicine Valley Series) Paperback – November 21, 2012
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About the Author
'Tessa's Dance,' Volume I in the Medicine Valley Series, is the first of David Edward Walker's novels, and garnered a Bronze Medal from the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Multicultural/Young Adult Fiction. 'Signal Peak', Volume II in the series, was released in November, 2013, and initial reaction has been resoundingly positive. David grew up in the Detroit area, working as a cab driver, record store clerk, and order taker in a flavor factory. He earned a doctorate degree at University of Detroit in 1992 and is a licensed psychologist. In 2000, David moved with his family to central Washington to work with the Indian Health Service. He continues to consult with the 14 Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. A scholar, passionate speaker, and fierce critic of bio-centric mental health ideologies, his series of articles for Indian Country Today on mental health practice as an oppressive force have garnished much positive attention. David is also a poet and singer-songwriter. In the 1990s, he toured under the pseudonym 'David Folks,' releasing two CDs, 'Roadside Park' and 'Refusing to View', and garnering college airplay across the U.S.. He worked with the Dreamcatchers arts project to benefit Native American causes, and shared the stage with such luminaries as Rodney Crowell, Richie Havens, and Richard Shindell. His songs "draw his audience into a warm space of feeling and introspection, which he supports with elegant moral ambition," according to 'Music Hound Guide to Folk Music'. He released a third CD, the Bahá'i-inspired disc, 'Summoning the Possible, in 2010 under the pseudonym 'David Folks Walker.' David traces his 'mixed-blood' Missouri Cherokee heritage through Barlow, Gibson, and Alexander families. He currently lives with his family in the International District of Seattle. You can visit his external website at www.tessasdance.com.
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Top customer reviews
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Tessa's Dance is about a young indian girl trying to get past personal abuse that was too difficult for her to cope with, and reservation life that was hard and unforgiving.
As Dr. Barlow who is part Cherokee himself tried to help Tessa, he tells the story of Tessa's life and even his own struggles in navigating attitude ridden, selfish, co-worker professionals hired by the government to help the Yakama Indians. These professionals were really standing in the way of doing the right things for these people and didn't really see them or hear them as human beings.
Gun-running and gangs brought excitement to the book and I have to say that this is usually not my genre, but this book was written in a manner that never got boring.
This is a must read novel based on the author's experiences with the Indian population in the eastern part of the State of Washington. And, I'm sure that in reading it, I received the intended lecture on intolerance towards Native Americans. But it was an easily tolerated way to take the medicine.
Tessa, a central character in the story, starts out as a troubled teenager. as the story develops, the reader is made the understand her family and extended family who help Tessa find her way to a great sense of values and a way through her life's problems with a little helpful pointing along the way from her 'tribal' psychologist.
It is an amazing book - and the first one by the author. I hope this is just the start with a second novel coming soon.