For the life of me, I can't remember the name of a book I loaned to my aunt when I was younger. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago and her ex-husband sold everything ... so I've never retrieved the book and can't figure out what it was called to repurchase it.

The entire book followed the life of a young Native American boy. Part of the story detailed his mother falling in love with a star - in the story, stars were men who lived in the clouds and became buffalo at night to run across the sky. Anyway, they had a child, and the child came back to earth.

Another part of the story has the boy setting a trap for a wolf - he wraps a knife in meat and submerges it in a pool of water in a leather-lined hole. The water freezes, and when the wolf licks the water to get at the meat, she cuts her tongue and starts to bleed out. He feels guilty and runs in to scare the wolf away.

There are other bits and pieces I can remember, but those are the two most vivid scenes in my mind.

Anyone have an idea?

  • Do you have any idea roughly when it was published, or when you read it? Do you recall what the cover looked like? – phantom42 Jan 2 '15 at 5:20
  • I read it in the mid 90s - not sure when it was published. As for a cover, it was hardback with no art, so no real help there, either :-( – EAMann Jan 2 '15 at 5:39
  • You might looks for stories based on Blackfoot legend of Poia, or the Star Bride, or the Star Child. The first part at least sounds based on those. – scrappedcola Feb 10 '15 at 22:50
  • FWIW, the knife trick is occasionally cited as being a traditional form of hunting, but is probably just legend. wolfsongnews.org/news/Alaska_current_events_2577.html – FuzzyBoots Sep 1 '15 at 15:04

Is it Star Boy by Paul Goble?

Star Boy was the son of Morning Star and an earthly bride. He was banished from the Sky World for this mother's disobedience and bore a mysterious scar on his face, the symbol of the Sun's disapproval.
As Star Boy grew, he came to love the chief's daughter, and it was she who helped him find the courage to journey to the Sky World and make peace with the Sun. The Sun not only lifted the scar but sent Star Boy back to the world with the sacred knowledge of the Sun Dance, a ceremony of thanks for the Creator's blessing.

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  • Does it have the bit with the wolf and the knife? – FuzzyBoots Sep 1 '15 at 14:27
  • I don't know, sorry. I found this through research online. – Jbird Sep 1 '15 at 14:30
  • I just checked the book out from openlibrary.org, and it doesn't have anything about a wolf in it (it's a very short book with a lot of illustrations). It could well be one of Paul Goble's many other books, though. – Joe L. Sep 1 '15 at 14:32
  • It does sound similar - the book I had in mind wasn't illustrated at all, though. Great recommendation and probably a good place to start! – EAMann Oct 5 '15 at 15:16

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