My YA novel, ‘Chipmunk Jumped Over Him’, is the result of a fascination with Native American tales and wisdom concerning the natural world. As a biologist, I have a deep personal interest in the natural world and how it operates. Watching things like a coyote trying to catch blackbirds in a Sierra Nevada meadow gives me great pleasure. Native Americans have lived on this part of the planet for thousands of years. During those millennia they watched and learned from the critters around them. Their worldview was and is framed in the interactions of things within the environment. Native Americans expressed and passed on their knowledge through storytelling. The Navajo (Diné) refer to such tales, at least in part, as Grandfather Stories.
After Reading many of the tales, especially coyote stories, and some of the tales from the Washoe people, especially the saga of the Weasel Brothers (which was the source of the concept for the book’s title), I decided that I would like to tell a story. I wanted to frame a story associated with current situations, but that used Native American tales, concepts, and characters. I hope that I have, with this book, succeeded in providing a Grandfather Story of my own, but in the style and with the intent of the Native American storytellers whose stories I have read.
For the benefit of readers who may want to explore the stories that inspired me, I have included a bibliography at the end of the book. The book is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions. You can find it, and my mystery novel, at amazon.com/author/fentonkay.