What a beautiful journey Billie Wind, the young Seminole girl, takes. Her modern beliefs and views put her at odds with the tribal elders, who ask her to choose her own punishment. She sarcastically suggests that she spend time alone in the Everglades, and is surprised when they agree. Billie's journey takes her to a fire that clears an island and forces her to take refuge in a pit - an ancient dwelling of Calusas. She begins to learn to understand what the animals and plants are telling her, through thier calls and movements. The birds show her where dry land is, the crickets and frogs let her know when a predator is near, the mangroves tell her when she nears the coast. The beautiful descriptions make the Florida environment come alive in this book. And as I listened to this book on tape with my two children, aged 8 and 11, we could also feel this connection that Billie makes with the land. My kids are eager to listen to this story at every chance we can get. I think they yearn for the self-sufficiency that Billie Wind develops in the story. The quietness of this story reflects the peace of nature. At a time when humans are more disconnected from the earth than ever before, this book is a call to turn off the TV, headphones, treadmill, radio, etc. and take a walk or kayak through the wetlands, listen to the birds, watch the grasses move. A book like this can remind us of the forces of nature, both terrible and peaceful. There is great drama and suspense in this story of a young girl finding her way in the natural world. The earth is talking to all of us, read this book, then come outside and try to hear what she is telling you.