A Book to Cry Over: Morning Girl by Michael Dorris

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris. Hyperion, 1992.

Dorris hooks the reader with voice and woos her with lovely prose: personification like “the day welcomed me, brushed my hair with its breeze, greeted me with its songs” (5). The alternating POV chapters are interesting and risky for this age group. Yet I found the voice of each chapter distinct.

On pg. 27 Star Boy (brother to Morning Girl) is hiding after losing his father’s canoe. He thinks, “I closed my eyes and concentrated on being a rock. I sank so deep into the ground that no digging stick could roll me from my hole. I became so hard that no tree or bush could take root on my surface.” It’s vivid, clear, yet develops setting and character beautifully. He goes on to describe things he can feel as a rock that he can’t as a boy, like shadows moving over him.

And Morning Girl wanting to see her face, and finding “two pretty girls” in her father’s eyes made me cry.

  • This is a book to dissect for theme. Names, self-knowing, understanding. 
  • The epilogue from Columbus is chilling to my very soul. Ugh. It went from tender family story to horror novel in that final, masterful page.