The White Dove
The old ways are over, Tasha. You must now face the reality that those who wish only for comfort are not to be trusted.
As they take refuge in ancient caves and dense forests, cross cold rapids, and travel by the dark of night, Tasha-together with the wanderer Ari, the kitchen boy Gil, and the small child Raina-flee a repressive kingdom. Their journey holds many questions for Tasha. What are the papers they must steal from the Capital? Will they safely reach the Great North river crossing, and will Marko be waiting for them when they do? What secrets does Ari carry, and can Tasha and little Raina trust him?
Here is a story of high adventure, set in a world removed from, but not unlike, our own. Exploring the bonds of family and the tyranny of aristocracy, the novel chronicles a girl's constant struggle to act much braver than she feels.
- Houghton Mifflin Company
About THE WHITE DOVE
The idea for the story of The White Dove came from a dream I had about a young woman trying to escape with a little girl. After the dream I asked why. Why were they escaping? Where were they going? As a result I wrote the first chapter and the last chapter to The White Dove . Once I knew how the story began and how it ended I was able to write the middle.
The White Dove is enjoyable, clean reading! I picked up the book intending to read only for a short time but couldn't put it down till I finished it. I promptly handed it to my 16 year-old daughter to read, too. It's an interesting adventure that is free of sex and violence, and one you don't have to worry about your kids reading!
- Louise Erekson
Soon the kingdom of Comnor, which like Narnia exists only in the imagination, will become a free republic, but not before a rebel named Com is removed. Tasha's father abdicated his throne to begin a democratic republic, and Marko has been duly elected its president. In his absence, however, Com has declared himself the new king and has put Tasha and Marko's little sister, Raina, into a compound for political prisoners. When Marko sends the symbol of a white dove, Tasha knows the time has come for her and Raina to flee. Her father's brother, Ari, wearing the disguise of an old man, plans and executes their harrowing escape and their return to Marko-but not before vital state documents are retrieved from a secret bedroom compartment, thus ensuring Com's downfall. Readers will not want to put this book down. Accounts of treachery, deceit, and truth rewarded fill this novel. Escaping from caves and a dungeon, Tasha's determination to oust Com and rejoin the rebels gives her the courage to strive for her personal freedom and the freedom of her country. Boundless determination, hope, and desire put into action-these are the messages here. (Fiction. 11-13)
- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Using THE WHITE DOVE in the Classroom
A. The classroom teacher may have students research the following topics:
- Group activity to compare/contrast the various forms of government.
- Students may write a paper based on one of the forms of government and compare/contrast to the government referred to in THE WHITE DOVE.
- Students can make a poster depicting one of the governments after discussion using THE WHITE DOVE as the basis.
B. What has been the role of Gypsies in Europe or other groups of nomads and wanderers in other areas of the world?
- Compare them with the wanderer Ari and others mentioned in THE WHITE DOVE. What are their reasons for this type of life? Are there any similar people in our society today? (homeless, migrant workers).
C. Take the story of THE WHITE DOVE and turn it into an epic poem.
D. Discuss the major themes in THE WHITE DOVE.
- Have students make a poster depicting the theme.
E. Discuss why symbolism is used in literature.
- Compare THE WHITE DOVE with another book that uses symbolism.
- Write a five paragraph essay on the symbolism found in THE WHITE DOVE.
F. Use statements from the book to use as a writing starter.
- eg. "The old ways are over, Tasha. You must now face the reality that those who wish only for comfort are not to be trusted."
G. Discuss underground in France during WWII or the underground railroad before the Civil War.
- How did it operate?
- What role did it play in the lives of the people?
- What was the role of people such as Harriet Tubman, and Josiah Henson in the underground railroad?
- How do they compare with Ari in THE WHITE DOVE? (see "The Freedom Givers", READERS DIGEST, March 2001, pp. 117-121).