Over the years, I have told stories of my life in a canyon in the California mountains; of life with hubby and dogs, of wild animals, birds, and plants, but next to nothing of the history of the canyon and its people.
After the death of his wife during the Great Depression, Sara's father faces severe financial problems and decides to send Sara and her brother Joey to stay with his parents, who live in a hot and dusty canyon in the mountains of California. While Joey adapts fast to the cowboy lifestyle, Sara has a difficult time as she mourns her mother and misses her dad.
Then she meets Lena, a Kawaiisu girl about her own age. Lena's mother is also dead and she lives with her grandmother. Lena takes Sara on many outings in the mountains, where she has to face her fears and overcome them, as she finds out about rattlesnakes, bears, mountain lions, flash floods, and much more. Sara also learns about medicinal plants, basket weaving, Kawaiisu traditions and language. Most importantly, Lena shows Sara that her mother is always with her. It takes a while, but eventually Sara comes to see the truth of this.
At the end of this delightful book, Sara makes a choice that involves a beautiful butterfly basket woven by Lena's mother. She makes her choice based on friendship and the lessons she has learned while living in the canyon.
I loved The Butterfly Basket and recommend it to anyone of you, my blogger friends, who would like to know more about the history of this area, of the Kawaiisu people, the plants and animals that sustained them and provided materials for their magnificent baskets. Or maybe you have kids or grandkids who would enjoy a delightful book about the adventures of a young girl learning about life and change here in our beautiful canyon.