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2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award, Young Adult Honor
2019 WILLA (Women Writing the West) Finalist
2019 Independent Publisher Award, Gold, Multicultural Young Adult
2019 Independent Press Award, First Place, Young Adult Fiction
2018 Moonbeam Children's Book Award, First Place, Young Adult Fiction--General


After her wealthy white father gives her the boot, fifteen-year-old Apple Starkington reluctantly visits her Native American relatives on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in northern North Dakota for the first time. Apple learns to deal with culture shock of Indian customs and language, while trying to find a connection to her dead mother.


"This coming-of-age debut tackles what it means to belong...Quigley shares the dynamics of reservation life--phrases, puckered lips to point, and extended families with aunties and cousins--with authenticity and warmth. VERDICT: A strong story with themes that resonate with many adolescents as they try to figure out who they are in life. Highly  recommended."--Amy Zembroski, Indian Community School, Franklin, Wisconsin. *School Library Journal (fall 2018) Starred Review

Thursday, August 29, 2019--Native America Calling Book of the Month: "Apple in the Middle," by Dawn Quigley

"I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I was really drawn to the image on Dawn Quigley's Apple in the Middle...not ridiculously glamorous, but pretty and real (love those earings!)...It's not just a well-written, enjoyable book...[I]n some ways, I feel I am that girl on the cover...Like Apple, I have a White father and a Native mother...There are certain incidents from her school that are so recognizable to me...And there are tragic episodes that come from Apple 'always [feeling] like I'm living and bouncing between two worlds."--Indigo's Bookshelf: Voices of Native Youth, review by Alexis, age 18;

"For an enjoyable late summer read, pick up Quigley's debut young adult novel full of insight, humor and surprises sharing Apple's first trip to the reservation to meet her American Indian cousins. Apple is a quirky, offbeat teen who is both Native and white, learning just what it means to be Indian in her tribe. But don't expect background flute music or eagles flying overhead!" Cynsations, A blog by Cynthia Leitich Smith

"Apple in the Middle speaks to any young person--regardless of race or class--who finds themselves 'in the middle.' The storyline travels easily through any reader's imagination, and Quigley's fine grasp of storytelling is exactly what is needed to engage the young reader." Marcie Rendon, citizen of the White Earth Ojibwe, author of Murder on the Red River and Pow Wow Summer

"Apple in the Middle made me chuckle and it made me cry, but it always made me happy to be in the company of the quirky and quick-witted Apple as she journeys to connect with her Native grandparents. Through Apple's story, Dawn Quigley has written a funny, heartwarming love letter to her family and friends on the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe reservation." --Carter Meland, White Eartth Anishinaabe, Minnesota Book Awards Finalist for his novel Stories for a Lost Child

Apple in the Middle


  • ISBN





    North Dakota State University Press


    Dawn Quigley (author)

  • # OF PAGES





    None. All Rights Available


    Suzzanne Kelley,

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