Congratulations to Gary Robinson, winner of Moonbeams Children's Book Gold award for Mature Issues and voted 2019 Best Books for High School by American Indians in Children's Literature.

"This is the kind of story that every native teenager should have the chance to read. I strongly recommend it — not just to every tribal library (where sets of it should be available)—but to YA audiences everywhere." ~ Joseph Bruchac

The life of Native teen Rhonda Runningcrane has not been going well. After her mother was sent to prison for killing the girl’s physically abusive father, Rhonda attempted suicide. All she and a small group of friends wanted to do was escape a bleak and pointless life. After witnessing the burial of her best friend who committed suicide, Rhonda must figure out how to cope and continue living.

Shortly after high school graduation, Rhonda sees a plea for donations of food and clothing to help support an ongoing pipeline protest on another reservation. Something stirs inside her, and Rhonda is compelled to heed the call and collect contributions from the people on her reservation. After she delivers a truck filled with supplies to the protesters’ encampment, Rhonda feels a powerful urge to stay and join the fight. Using skills that she learned from a caring uncle back home, Rhonda signs up to work with the camp’s ground crew.

An inspiring Native elder at the camp takes Rhonda under her wing, and the girl begins to heal from the wounds of her past. But when that elder and others in the camp are threatened by armed National Guardsmen and attack dogs, Rhonda throws herself fully into the fray, locking arms with other young people to form a protective barrier. From that moment on, Rhonda decides to dedicate her life to protecting Native lands and waterways and the lives of Native people. 

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Gary Robinson (Choctaw/Cherokee) has participated in the production of dozens of Native American educational, informational, and documentary television projects and worked to create Native American content most of his adult life. He is the author of sixteen books, including seven PathFinders teen novels. For more information, visit his website at

Gary Robinson has written sixteen fiction and nonfiction books on Native American topics, including the following PathFinders historical teen novels: Thunder on the Plains, Tribal Journey, Little Brother of War, and Son Who Returns. He is also the author of the Billy Buckhorn supernatural series, which includes Abnormal, Paranormal, and Supranormal. Robinson’s two-book series for elementary-age students, Lands of Our Ancestors, depicts California’s history from a Native American perspective.


Gary Robinson
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7th Generation Native Voices Books