Is this still a popular YA book? If you read and enjoyed it, read about the real woman that inspired Scott O’Dell’s novel here:
It gives rise in my mind to any number of possible FYS research investigations:
The fate of indigenous peoples all over the world related to the well-intended missionaries that wanted to “bring them to Christ.” Or, were they well-intended? When empires worked hand-in-hand with missionaries, which priorities took precedence?
Was she Nicoleño? And really the last survivor of her people? How does her story compare with that other well-known one of Ishi, the last known member of the Yana>
Juana Maria’s lack of comprehensible language, and its effect on her choices. The nature of language itself– does it need to be spoken or understood by more than one person? How does a person develop a personal language. Compare to the woman portrayed by Jodie Foster in the film Nell.
What questions worth investigating does this raise for you?