“Think Indian” Book Club

Book Review: Moon of the Crusted Snow

This blog post is the first in an upcoming series of book reviews of the American Indian College Fund’s (College Fund) “Think Indian” Book Club selections. Each blog will focus on a “Think Indian” Book Club title selection to promote Indigenous authors, voices, and storytelling in American literature—particularly writers who are alumni of tribal colleges and universities.

April 2021 Book Club Selection: Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

April 2021 Book Club Selection: Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

By Bridget Skenadore (Diné), Program Officer, Native Arts and Culture

What happens when the world you know it is turned upside down? Communication channels have been lost, food sources have begun to dwindle, electricity has shut down, and winter is looming around the corner.

This book grapples with how the decisions and choices you make in a time of uncertainty help you to live in the good way. The characters in the community ask themselves these questions individually and as society as the world around them collapses and they are forced to look to each other as they begin to navigate this new and unnerving world.

Moon of the Crusted Snow is a post-apocalyptic novel set in a northern Canadian Anishinaabe community. This story is unique because it is told from an Indigenous perspective that fuses both a contemporary way of life with traditional knowledge. As the power goes out and food begins to become scarce it is the knowledge of hunting, understanding of the land and environment, and the importance of taking care of and protecting community that help the people begin to build a new way of life just as unexpected visitors begin to arrive.

The story centers around Evan Whitesky and his wife as they continue to navigate this uncertain and crazy time. Evan is the navigator of the story; it is through his character that readers experience the terrifying ordeal that the community is facing. He quickly rises to the ranks of a leadership figure among his community members. Whereas Evan is the leader of the story, his wife Nicole is the beacon of hope, not only for Evan and her children, but for readers.

Rice shows the strength of the Anishinaabe community and demonstrates to readers what Indigenous peoples have doing for centuries—surviving and thriving against all odds.

Trigger Warning: Alcohol, Alcoholism, Animal Death, Cannibalism, Death, Gun Violence, Racism, Starvation, Suicide, Murder, and Violence

Support Our Communities! Patronize an Indigenous-Owned Business

Consider purchasing your copy of this book at one of the following Native-owned stores.

Birchbark Books

Minneapolis, Minn.

Na Mae Hawai’i

(books related to Hawai'i and the Pacific)
Honolulu, Hawai'i

Bird Cage Book Store

Rapid City, S.D.

Red Planet Comics

Albuquerque, New Mexico.