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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
Dream Walker by Larry Prosor is historical fiction with a timely message. This decidedly environmentally friendly novel is set in present day California and California of the late 1700s. When Peter Martinez, a member of the Noqoto tribe, loses his job as a wooden Indian, he finds work looking for artifacts at Rocky Point. Rocky Point is sacred to the tribe and it’s about to be taken over by energy giant ENRG. Peter starts seeing visions of his ancestors and suddenly finds himself immersed in their culture 300 years prior, during the heyday of the Spanish missions. He is welcomed by a Noqoto woman, Talkitna, and her family. Peter is equally blessed by his ancient people and devastated by the knowledge of their fate and the futility of trying to change history.
The time lines in Dream Walker are expertly woven together and the characters are well drawn, especially Peter and his grandfather. I enjoyed Larry Prosor’s presentation of Indian culture and his depiction of old California unspoiled by pollution. As a Californian fourth grader cheerfully studying Indian culture and building Popsicle stick mission replicas, I was oblivious to the atrocities committed by the Spanish in the name of the church, so I found parts of Dream Walker very disturbing. A little internet research revealed that although Dream Walker is a work of fiction, Prosor’s depictions of mistreatment and forced labor, basically slavery, are accurate. I found Dream Walker to be timely given current environmental, social and political events and I highly recommend it as both a good read and also a necessary correction of history. Due to some mature subject matter, I would recommend Dream Walker for YA and adult readers only. Caution: Dream Walker may inspire a strong desire to go surfing! A really good book.