Cady and the Bear Necklace

Young Adult - Coming of Age
140 Pages
Reviewed on 05/12/2020
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Author Biography

I have lifelong roots in Michigan’s UP. My first Middle Grade novel, Cady and the Bear Necklace, was published by Henschel HAUS Books of Milwaukee. I graduated from UW-Madison (Journalism Education) and earned a master’s in Secondary Education/Reading from Viterbo University. I started out as a newspaper reporter/photographer and returned to journalism after retiring from teaching. I love delving into “the story behind the story” whether it be of persons, places or things. I continue to freelance for several publications while writing about 13-year-old Cady, and the challenges she faces—and overcomes—while solving mysteries.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Changes are difficult for everyone, but for a young teenager, moving to a new community and settling into a new high school can be overwhelming. Fortunately for Cady, she quickly becomes friends with another girl, Irish, and a young boy, John Ray, who is slightly older than her. With her Native American heritage, Cady attends the nearby reservation school and enjoys the mixture of learning experiences which include Native American arts and legends. Finding an eagle feather in the school hallway starts a whole chain of events that have to do with spirituality. When assigned a project to interview an Elder, John Ray arranges for Cady to interview his grandmother. She’s shown photographs, including one with a young girl wearing a unique beaded necklace. Later, she discovers a hidden cavity under a floorboard in her bedroom and pulls out a leather pouch containing the same necklace. Watched over by a blue jay, Cady must unravel the mystery behind the necklace and why no one wants to talk about it. All while her connection with John Ray evolves from friendship to something stronger.

Ann Dallman’s young adult novel, Cady and the Bear Necklace, is a passionate look at Native American culture and how it affects a young girl as she grows from a child to a young woman. This coming of age novel is full of mystery and native culture. The plot develops with growing tension as the reader wants to know more about the necklace as much as Cady does. Young adult readers will certainly feel connected to Cady and all her feelings and growing up emotions, struggles, and conflicts. The characters are realistic and the Native American history and culture is an interesting added bonus. The author has developed a wonderful tale of adventure, mystery and native culture. Well done! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.