Cover Image: Beyond the Green

Beyond the Green

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Member Reviews

The author, Sharlee Glenn, of Beyond the Green based the story from her personal experience when their family temporarily adopted, Gina, a five month old American Indian. As stated in the author’s note, before 1978, the government took away neglected or abused children from the Native Indians; they were cared and even adopted by non-Indian families. This caused a lot of problems because the tradition and language were soon forgotten once they were raised by those who are not American Indians; hence the congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 to be able to protect and maintain the culture of the tribe/s.
Similar to the author’s real life story, this fiction novel narrates the story of Twitchell family from Uintah Basin, Utah who adopted a five month old American Indian baby named Chipeta on 1975. Irene Uncarrow, the biological mother of the baby was seen drunk in a bar while the baby was left inside the car in Beaumont. The social worker reached out to the Twitchells to care for the innocent baby. After four years and because of the ratification of ICWA, the social worker got in touch with them to inform that the real mother, Irene, wants to get her child again. 
The possibility of Chipeta, or was later named Dorinda or Dori by their family, being taken away wasn’t easy for the Twitchells especially to Britta, the storyteller and one of the closes to Dori. She and Cally, attempted several ways to avoid what they were dreading, but whatever happened, they can’t avoid the inevitable. 
Beyond the Green is a poignant novel that will make one think of the power of love; on how much one will do anything just to prove it; the enormity of forgiveness and accepting; and that proximity is not a factor to show one’s love and care.
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Very good story, well written.  The story progressed nicely and the further I got in it the more I enjoyed it.
It is a sweet and touching story and didn't turn out as I expected.
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Got this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for honest review.  This book tells a story about family in a prairie who raised a child of the Ute tribe named Dorinda for four whole years. All of a sudden, the girl’s birth mother wants her child back to her.

This book surprised me, in a good way. Of course, when I started this book, I’m kind of expecting the Little House on the Praire vibe, all the pleasant things about making cheese et cetera. But nope, this book is not like that. It’s not really about the life on the prairie. Eventhough there is a slight vibe to it (and I love that slight vibe), but the book is centered on the main issue. The book is about family, about letting go and doing what is right. The book is about love and I love it for that. It is surprising that this book could make me care so much to the characters. Not even the protagonist, but the so called antagonist. The author made me think about how in life there are many perspectives. And my favorite part is when the girls are running away to save Dorinda. It’s quite an adventure and pleasantly thrilling. And I enjoy it when they all go to Ute tribe festival, got to know a bit about Ute Tribe is a point plus for me.

Glad I found this book. This book is not a tearjerker for me, but it’s really touching. I really enjoyed this book. Thank you, Sharlee Glenn. Thank you.
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Sharlee Glenn’s poignant story Beyond the Green grabs the reader from the beginning. It stirs up emotions of loss, happiness and acceptance. 
Set in the late 1970’s a Mormon family takes in a young Ute child after her mother is deemed unfit to care for her.  Now four years later the mother has come back for her child and the Twitchell family is discovering that letting go of Dori or Chipeta (her birth name) will not be easy. 
The story provokes sadness from the point of view of the young Twitchell sisters Britta and Cally and the desperation drives Britta and her emotions to make questionable decisions to keep Dori from leaving.  Some decisions are bad almost cruel, some are good.  And sometimes compromises as Britta learns may lead people down a new path that will benefit everyone involved.  A nice middle grade story about accepting change.
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Britta Twitchell, a spunky 12 year old, will go to just about any lengths to keep her foster sister, Dori, from leaving their family’s farm in Utah to return to her birth mother. From hair brained attempts to run away to sobering lessons on growing up and the history that surrounds her, Britta learns that though life can’t always go according to plan, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye...and it’s not all bad.

This books engages readers in a world of strong characters, courage, responsibility, and love. The loveable Britta, though somewhat misguided by tempestuous emotion, possesses a familial loyalty to be admired. As she grows to know the people and culture which surrounds her family, her emotion at the thought of losing her sister develops into courage and a strong determination for justice and right action. I thought the consistent characters through the changing narrative something essential for middle grade readers, as well as the emotional principle of empathizing with others...especially those in pain. 

The introduction into the foster care system and especially the controversial Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) were age appropriate and well done; this book would make a great companion read to studying that portion of history. Especially important to include is the afterward, in which the author shares her own experience with her foster sister.

Thank you to @netgalley and @charlesbridgepublishing for an advanced electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. “Beyond the Green” will be published October 2, for it and consider adding it to your library.
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This is a lovely book narrated by an innocent farm girl, who is part of a large, loving extended family. Her family fosters a young Ute girl who they love and dote upon. The main character and her family experience a variety of adventures during the summer but the  main event they have to contend with is the reappearance of their foster baby's birth mother who wishes to reclaim her and thereby establish her cultural identity. Written with care and compassion the author leads one to reflect on the true meaning of family and what relationship bonds are truly unbreakable.
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Wow, this book is absolutely wonderful, loving, brave, and eye opening, with beautifully painted scenes of the mountains and farms as a backdrop.  Beyond the Green, by Sharlee Glenn, tells the tale of a family giving up its most prized possession, their youngest child.  The story, told through the eyes of the middle child, Britta, an eleven year old Mormon girl living on a family farm in the Uintah Basin, Utah in the late 1970s, centers on the youngest child, Dori, who has been living with the family since she was five months old and is now four.  Her biological mother, Irene, member fo the Uintah tribe has gotten sober and wants her child back.  Britta spends most of the book devising plans on how to keep Dori from Irene as well as trying to work through her feelings about doing what she knows is right and her prejudices about certain individuals.  While Britta is a stereotypical eleven year old with stereotypical eleven year old farm girl problems (not wanting to do chores, annoying siblings) her life is anything but.
Sharlee Glenn has captured all the emotions of the story so well and the author’s note explains why.  This book touches a lot of different themes that can help expose readers to new topics: multi-racial families, foster care, the Indian Child Welfare Act, farming communities, Mormonism, and stereotypes that existed and continue to exist about Native Americans.  I strongly recommend Beyond the Green for both children and adults.
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When I finished this book I was pleasantly surprised that I really, really enjoyed it. 
The story gave a soft 'Little House on the Prairie"-vibe for me because it was story narrated by a young protagonist in a setting from the past that incorporated real historical issues and drama, but told in a way that was easy to understand and flowed quite smoothly. I was even surprised when I read in the authors note that this book was based on the author's real life experience with her foster sister, which makes this all the more better and touching.
I also enjoyed the characters, even feisty Britta, who even I believe might've taken things too far at some points of the story (not just the running away part), but that's okay because she's still young and it adds to her character, which only continued to develop positively throughout the story. I also really enjoyed the family dynamic, from Britta's mother, her siblings (including little adorable Dori), and her awesome grandpa. It felt comfortably warm. Even the culture of the Ute tribe was great because it was introduced in such a way where it was easy to understand and was not overwhelming.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read that had me shed a tear here and there.
I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone. :D
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A beautiful, heartwarming story about the lengths families go to for each other, whether they're joined by blood or not. I loved the insight into Mormon life at the time, and the way our main character, Britta, grew and changed and came to realise that she needed to look at things from a different angle. I'm also glad no one was demonised over the course of the book; everyone had their chance to change for the better.

A lovely read, I'll be watching out for this author in future. Thank you netgalley and Charlesbridge for the chance to read it.
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There are far too many stories of white people saying indigenous children, giving them a better life. 

Indigenous children do not need to be rescued.

I was worried, when I started to read this book, though the description hinted otherwise, that this book would be like that.  That Britta kept devising plans to save her foster-care sister from returing to her birth mom made me worried that perhaps this wasn't the story I hoped it was.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Britta, a Mormon child, feels that Dori would be better off with her family who had had her for the first four years of her life.  She can't imagine that the Indians could take as good care of her "sister" as her family did.

But, as all good books do, this one allowed Britta to grow and change, and see things from another point of view.

And her wise grandpa had a great quote:

Differ'nt don't necessirly mean worse, Britta-girl," he said. "Sometimes it means better. Sometimes it just means differ'nt. And thank goodness for differ'nt. Too much sameness would make for a might bland world."

The author made this all feel very real, and very special, probably because it is a fictionalized version of her own foster sister, that was returned to her birth mother.

Odd, every day elements make it very real.

Highly recommend this for school libraries, public libraries, and just for good old-fashioned reading.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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