Snow Road author Joelle Hubner-McLean was at the Snow Road Community Hall Saturday to sign copies of her novel Corvus & Me: The Indigenous Spirit, the third in her Corvus & Me series.
“In this latest one, the protagonist, Janine, along with Corvus (the Crow) and Right Whisper, struggle to preserve the forest and save it from the evil Phantom Faeron,” she said.
Hubner-McLean, a former teacher with a background in indigenous studies, said the series is “semi-autobiographical” and came from an incident one winter in her youth.
“I was looking at a tree and saw a face in it,” she said.
She said there is a lot of the spirit world, based on Native studies, and it’s “full of metaphors.”
“There are a lot of messages in there that reflect on adult people that teachers have to go through,” she said.
For example, she said many of the metaphors relate to the recent struggles the Dakota peoples have gone through trying to protect the watersheds from the “disastrous consequences” of a pipeline proposal.
Some of the struggles Janine goes through are based on her own childhood, she said.
“I came from France at a young age and growing up here, there were language barriers,” she said. “I was bullied because of them.”
So, she wanted to write for young adults to perhaps help them along. But she also wanted to do it in a certain way.
“There are no pictures in the book,” she said. “Children will have to come up with their own images through their imagination.
“That may be generational because we didn’t have Google (growing up).”
Corvus is Latin for crow or raven and when asked if she has a spirit animal connection to the birds, she said “yes and no”.
“I seem to be close to them in real life. The crows seem to be on my right side in intellectual situations and on my left in emotional situations, such as a death in the family.”
Hubner-McLean’s books can be ordered through her website corvusandme.com and ravenswoodpublishing.com.