Published by Roaring Brook Press
Summary: The Ojibwe narrator has been taught by her Nokomis (grandmother) that water is sacred, “the first medicine”. A prophecy tells of a black snake that will destroy the land, poisoning the water and killing plants and animals. Now it seems as though that prophecy has come true, and the girl wants to fight the black snake and save the water. She’s fighting for the plants and animals that can’t protect themselves and for Mother Earth herself. The last page shows the protest at Standing Rock: “We are water protectors. WE STAND! The black snake is in for the fight of its life.” Includes author’s and illustrator’s notes with more information about Standing Rock; a glossary of six words from various indigenous languages from the text; and an “Earth Steward and Water Protector Pledge” to sign. 40 pages; grades K-3.
Pros: A brief but powerful message about the importance of protecting water and other natural resources. The illustrations are amazing; some of them would make beautiful posters all on their own.
Cons: Despite the determination of this girl and others like her, the author’s note reports that the Dakota Access Pipeline (the construction of which was being protested at Standing Rock) has been given the green light, and that leaks were reported even before construction was completed.