Between Two Worlds by Katherine Kirkpatrick is the story of 16-year-old Eqariusq (also called Billy Bah), an Inuit girl in Greenland. One day a ship arrives in Billy Bah’s small village, bearing supplies for the explorer Robert Peary. On the ship are Peary’s wife and daughter with whom Billy Bah lived for a year in America. Billy Bah is glad to see them, but is torn between the fascinating world of the white men and her own, and that conflict intensifies when her husband starts trading her to a sailor on Peary’s ship.
I liked Between Two Worlds and found it interesting but questioned some of the aspects of Inuit life represented. The story was based on the life of a real young woman who had contact with Robert Peary, but the historical record was from the point of view of white explorers. I felt that Billy Bah and some of the other Inuits were represented as very in awe of the white men, which I don’t think is necessarily accurate. There was, especially in the latter half of the book, some interesting character development in Billy Bah as she decides to take her life in a non-traditional direction. The plot moved very slowly, though, and the characters did not have individual personalities. Taking all into consideration, I thought that Between Two Worlds was a well-written story, and I would recommend it for girls 13 and up.