The summer before going into high school, Fiona receives a mysterious box in the mail, one that she hopes will answer her questions about her Anishinaabe Indian heritage. It contains stories written by the grandfather she never knew, an Anishinaabe man her mother refuses to talk about. As she reads his stories about blackbirds and bigfoot, as well as tales about Indians in space and homeless Native men camping by the river in Minneapolis, Fiona finds other questions arising—questions about her grandfather and the experiences that shaped his stories, questions about her mother’s silence regarding the grandfather she never knew. Fiona’s desire to know more and her mother’s reluctance to share stir up bitter feelings of anger and disappointment that slowly transform as she reads the stories into a warmer understanding of the difficulties of family, love, and the weight of the past.
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