Dedicated To All Children
Especially My Granddaughters
(Brooke, Callie, CC, Madelyn, and Mia)
This story is fictional, except for the part that is true.
My hope is that your imagination will always be your sanctuary.
This story is set in a time long ago, many generations before Columbus
brought word to Europe that there was a land where indigenous people
lived. This land would eventually be stolen from those native people
and would become the United States of America. I refer to some of the
children in this story as Native American, but this story is before
America was America.
A courageous tribe of nineteen Native American children, between the
ages of ten months and seventeen years old, along with other small
clans of children from all four corners of the earth, embark on a
daunting journey to the loose end of the rainbow.
Their parents, and the adults in their tribes, disappear in the night,
when a mysterious fever sweeps across the earth. Their journey is
difficult and sometimes dangerous. Paints-With-Words and White Eagle,
both seventeen, lead the children.
Paints-With-Words and White Eagle have supernatural powers because
they were born at the loose end of the rainbow. Together they lead the
children on an epic quest. Hardship, injuries, an erupting volcano,
and earthquakes challenge the children. Luckily, for the Tribe of the
Innocent Ones, their two young leaders are resourceful and wise, and
unexpected gallant allies emerge to help them during a harrowing battle
with the fierce giant frog monster, Green Emperor.
The mysterious destination the Great Spirit guides them toward is
the enchanting loose end of the rainbow, where they will fulfill
their destiny, bringing not only their tribe together, but also
the people of the world.
Note From D.B. Pacini-Christensen:
As a youth advocate, I've heard frustrated teenagers say that they wish their
parents/guardians would just disappear. In The Journey To The Loose End of the
Rainbow I grant that wish. Young characters suddenly realize that they must
experience life without parents and without adult family members.
When I first decided to write this novel, I called a number of American Indian
organizations and professors who specialize in Native studies. I emailed several
organizations associated with American Indian tribes. I was seeking a knowledgeable
consultant. I received little help. Most people passed on my request because they
were too busy. Some felt they were not qualified to serve as a consultant. A few
said that they did not want “another white person” writing a book that
(they assumed) would portray American Indians as savages or as romanticized
I am a white woman, so what? I don't define myself solely by the color of my skin.
This is a novel. When a young person settles down with this book, who I am is not
relevant. I want readers to be swept into the world of the story. What matters
is the message this story shares.
Without discouragement, I did research on my own. I read personal accounts of
American Indian people and dozens of American Indian myths, legends, and handed
down stories. I researched native horses, art, diet, religion, tribal politics,
and ancient ways of life. I also studied other cultures, researching everything
I wished to include in this story.
This novel is not New Age; it is old and ancient age. The tribe is named The
Tribe of the Innocent Ones. The main characters are deliberate composites of
several Native American tribes. For years I have felt that mainstream literature
has rarely featured American Indian youth in a positive light. I feature them as
an amalgamation so that American Indian youth from any tribe can feel honored
by this book.
I have received some criticism for the romanticized names I have given to many
of the characters. This is a fantasy YA novel. The names are intentionally enchanting.
I have received some criticism for having supernatural powers and magic in this
fictional story. Some of my favorite books are The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkin, The
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkin, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame,
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel
Hawthorne, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Peter Pan by J.M.
Barrie, and Harry Potter by J.K. Rowlings. Naturally, The Journey To The Loose
End Of The Rainbow has talking animals, fairies, unicorns, mermaids, universal
knights, and giant frog monsters.
I loved my mother and my father. As parents they did the best they were equipped
to do. Unfortunately, I was not taught many things that I should have been taught
by my parents. I had to learn a lot on my own. Many adult people I met when I was
a teenager and a young woman helped me, guided me, and taught me. I'm stronger and
richer because of the difficulties I have endured, but also because those good
people came into my life. I have a compassionate heart for people who have
experienced difficult lives.
There are young people today who are not being taught many things that they
should learn from their parents. These young people must learn on their own.
I hope The Journey To The Loose End Of The Rainbow will inspire them to become
men and women of excellence. I hope it will motivate them to treat all people
with respect. I hope it will help them realize that they can be effective global
citizens regardless of where they live. I hope it will help to instill in them
a personal determination to productively take responsible stewardship of the earth.
I wrote this novel to encourage young people. If some people cannot embrace the
story, that is fine with me. No book is for everyone. Some people object to my
decision to put Native Americans in one group. They say that when writers put
indigenous peoples into one clump that they make them invisible.
Yes, I do put Native Americans in one group; it is the group of humankind. In my
opinion, no race is superior and no race has more specialness. In my opinion,
no person can be free while clutching "specialness" in his or her hands. It is
time to embrace being human together. We must help one another and this suffering
earth. That is what we must teach our children.
Young people, please always remember that the blood in our veins is the same
color. Don't allow anyone to define your creative art solely by the color of
your skin. Don't be afraid to share your art with the world. Those who can
receive your gift will. Those who can't; they won't. Don't let anyone silence
you. You will always have critics. Do not worry about them.
A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one,
which the writer wrote. Mignon McLaughlin
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important
that you do it. Mahatma Gandhi
To my husband Tim, thank you for your love, friendship, encouragement, sense
of humor, and patience. I love you with all my heart.
To David Jonathan, Timothy Wayne Jr. and Joseph Brian --- thank you for
being the rainbow colors in my heart. Also, thank you for our wonderful granddaughters.
To my friend Bernida Childers, thank you for being an invaluable story
consultant for so much of my writing over the years. You have helped me
bring fictional characters to life.
In Loving Memory
Armen & Georgia Abrahamian
Uncle Armen and Aunt Georgia read this novel's manuscript over and over and
over again. Their excitement for this story meant the world to me. I
simply had to write Aunt Georgia into the text, and it delighted her
so much that I did. Anders, a universal knight, has Aunt Georgia’s hair
color, and like Aunt Georgia, he is, of course, Danish.
These four people were amazing.
Charlotte gave excellent suggestions for character development. I am
honored to have benefited from her expert advice.
My friend Arlo read this novel's manuscript three times, always with an
eagle eye, and he was never cautious or shy about giving suggestions.
Not having his insightful and enthusiastic opinions while I am writing
I was blessed to have known them.