Yakimali’s Gift

Young Adult

HISTORICAL:  “Why can’t you be more like your mother?” Fernanda was so tired of hearing those words, never mind the thousands of times her mother compared her behavior to her Pima great-grandmother without any explanation—other than the indication that it wasn’t acceptable. She really was trying. But she loved to race her horse and explore with her brothers! Why was that so awful?

Fernanda dreams of freedom and adventure, so when soldiers announce an opportunity to go to California, she can’t wait to tell her father. What could be more exciting? But when tragedy falls on Fernanda’s family, she’s left wondering if she should settle down, cast aside her frivolous ways, and finally become the young woman her Spanish people expect her to be.

What a delight! Set in 1775, “Yakimali’s Gift” shines light on a little-known part of history and invites the reader to experience it first hand. Ms. Covella does a beautiful job crafting a three-dimensional story that brings the reader on a colorful cultural adventure. The feel of the material, the smell of the fires, the anticipation of the unknown, the sorrow of loss, the sensations of first love—all await the reader of “Yakimali’s Gift.” History isn’t always an easy subject to relate to, personally. Armed with her engaging story, Covella invites the reader to step into a time gone by and live it. 

Sofia St. Angeles