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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott

ArrowSunLet’s see. We did Tikki Tikki Tembo and Little Black Sambo. Seems like Arrow to the Sun is the natural complement to those two, don’t you think? Kate and I haven’t dug deep into a book with racist issues in a while, and we’ve never done any books where white folks told the stories of American Indians. In this post-Thanksgiving episode we give as much of the history of this book as possible, all thanks to the work of K.T. Horning and Debbie Reese. Meanwhile, Kate gets confused about the actual storytelling itself, and I cannot get over how a book from 1974 looks this much like a video game.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your preferred method of podcast selection.


Show Notes:

– I’m still a little shocked about the lack of information on the Wikipedia entry for this book.

– K.T. Horning’s Horn Book article Arrow to the Sun and Critical Controversies is a piece I cribbed (read: stole) from heavily for this podcast episode.

– Here are the orange and black endpapers we’re referring to:


– “Bringing life”, as it were, to earth.


– Pitfall came out in 1982, by the way. For you kids out there, here’s what it actually looked like.


– With great wisdom comes dual pupils.


– I cannot say that I know anything about Pueblo culture. I do, however, know quite a bit about Space Invaders. ArrowSun4– It even looks like you’re moving from level to level in a video game! Poor little lions. Who hurt you?ArrowSun2– Pew pew! Pew pew!ArrowSun1– Clear as crystal. That’s a Minecraft sword, my friend.ArrowSun9MinecraftSword– The magical QR code of destiny.ArrowSun6– For the record, the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” came out in 1974. The same year as this book. Coincidence?!?

– There are two articles on Arrow to the Sun on the blog American Indians in Children’s Literature. The first dates back to 2006. The second from 2009 looks at the book’s discussion guide. Ten years later that discussion guide is still going strong on the Scholastic site.

– Consider this. Rather than an Author’s Note of any kind you literally get a black page of nothingness.


– This would be the “book” sequence in Hocus Pocus referred to:

– Go here to see The Neon Museum of Las Vegas.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.