Reading Level: 

“Get on the phone and call them all to a meeting for next Saturday afternoon,” Danny Wind said to his friend Crow. “We’re going to rescue us some buffalo.” He could hardly believe what he was saying. “But don’t tell anyone else. It’s our little secret for now.”

After two years, middle-school student Danny Wind is still not over his father’s death. When his mom marries a white man and they move to a new “white bread” neighborhood, Danny’s life changes for the worse. The school principal considers him a troublemaker, and he has to avoid Willy, the school bully, who calls him “redskin” and “Tonto.” After he acts out and gets suspended from school, Danny’s mom decides to send him to a summer survival camp for American Indian teens on the reservation where his father grew up.

Discover what happens when Danny gets involved in a secret plan to rescue bison from Yellowstone National Park and discovers something important about himself in the process.

An unhappy “urban skin” from Los Angeles reclaims his Cheyenne heritage in the course of an adventurous summer with relatives on the reservation. The agenda riding this unvarnished tale may leave young readers who aren’t Native Americans feeling like they’re on the outside looking in—not necessarily a bad thing, considering the vast quantity of books that do the opposite.

Kirkus Reviews April 2013

“It was an honor to read and review the reluctant reader book Thunder on the Plains, the first teen novel in the PathFinders books featuring Native American teen characters and situations. It is very refreshing to finally give our Native American children an opportunity to read stories they can relate to. The book contains characters that are appealing, convincing and complex. Recommended for teens that like books with depth, history and Native American culture. This is a well-written book with characters that are culturally appropriate and accurate.”
—Kathleen Marshall (Chumash)
Santa Ynez Chumash Language Teacher
California Dept. of Education, American Indian Education Oversight Committee Member


Gary Robinson
Page Count: 
Publication Year: 
Native Voices