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Harvest House by Cynthia Leitich Smith
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Harvest House by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Paperback $9.99
Jul 02, 2024 | ISBN 9781536236187

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    Jul 02, 2024 | ISBN 9781536236187 | Young Adult

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[Smith] draws on effective examples of microaggressions, bigotry, and exploitation to punctuate her point. But she also includes moments of joy: Hughie speaking to his sister in Mvskoke, the language of his ancestors, and doing seasonal activities with his friends. What results is an atmospheric, transfixing mystery.
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)

Using short, propulsive chapters, Smith (Hearts Unbroken), a member of the Muscogee Nation, intertwines thoughtful conversation surrounding the racism faced by Indigenous teenagers with a convincing ghost story to craft a spine-tingling, edge-of-the-seat chiller.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Part coming-of-age tale, part social justice story, and part paranormal thriller. . . . Smith knows what appeals to teens and what makes them tick, and so includes plenty of current teen slang and occasional curse words to keep this story relevant and engaging for them. This is one heckuva roller coaster ride that ratchets up the tension the closer the story comes to Halloween.
—School Library Connection (starred review)

Superbly highlights and discusses key topics facing contemporary Indigenous youths, including redface and the plights of missing and murdered Indigenous women and two-spirit people. Hughie’s encounters with different types of racism are recognizably authentic, handled with delicacy and distinct realism. . . . An atmospheric novel compellingly interweaving chills and contemporary themes.
—Kirkus Reviews

Adeptly centers important conversations about the racism Indigenous youth face; the plight of missing Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people; and the lack of police, media, and governmental support in searching for them. This eerie cross-genre novel will entice readers in search of spooky and truthful storytelling.
—The Horn Book

Smith’s companion novel to Hearts Unbroken (2018) is well-paced and suspenseful, raising thoughtful questions about the intersections of urban legend, cultural trauma, and genre tropes.

Smith’s genre-bending companion novel to the beloved Hearts Unbroken is a deliciously spooky adventure teen audiences will devour.

The spirit of a young indigenous woman is rumored to haunt a crossroads, and who she was and what happened to her – and how the raw injustice of the past can leach its poison into the present – are at the heart of this well-crafted mystery from Cynthia Leitich Smith, a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books.
—The Buffalo News

Cynthia Leitich Smith has written a bunch of books across children’s and young adult, both fantasy and contemporary fiction about Indigenous characters. Harvest House is her first foray into ghosts and murder mysteries, and it did not disappoint. It’s charming and chilling, a story about a haunted crossroads, racist violence perpetrated on Native people, and a group of teens trying to figure out how to get justice in a world designed to sideline them. I hadn’t expected a premise like this from Smith, but she absolutely nailed it.

Leitich Smith returns to the world of her award-winning young adult novel, “Hearts Unbroken,” with “Harvest House,” which centers on Hughie, the younger brother of Lou Wolfe from "Hearts." Hughie’s grappling with mysterious goings-on near a Halloween haunted house that plans to use Native stereotypes as the basis for one of its attractions. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation teen’s struggle with why and how to speak up, along with the very real dangers the book explores, make “Harvest House” equal parts thoughtful and thrilling.
—The Austin-American Statesman


Children’s Book Council – Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards WINNER 2024

Rise: A Feminist Book Project Top Ten SELECTION 2024

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