Coming Soon: The Legend of Skyco: Spirit Quest - 4/18/17

The Legend of Skyco: Spirit Quest is an excellent new middle-grade book that follows the adventures of Skyco, a young boy from the Algonquin tribe. Written by Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Jennifer Frick-Ruppert, Spirit Quest explores the natural setting and resources of the coast of North Carolina.


In his review of Spirit Quest, Martin T. Jones, the founder of the Chowan Discovery Group, said, "I am a descendant of a fairly well-known Chowanoke or Chowanooke family and have written about them. I grew up near the Chowan River and have fished, canoed and hunted in and around its waters. Before The Legend of Skyco, the only book that best illuminated the world of Carolina Algonkians was Dr. Micheal Leroy Oberg's The Head in Edward Nugent's Hand. I am grateful for Oberg's book that tells of that world's destruction from the view of the Chowanoke and related groups. My thankfulness extends to Frick-Ruppert's The Legend of Skyco for giving great value to Chowanoke life before the coming of the English."



Skyco, an Algonquin boy, is heir to the great chief Menatonon, but he has much to learn before he can take his place within the tribe. After helping rescue the tribe's shaman, Roncommock, from a bear attack, Skyco learns that the bear is his spirit animal and will guide him on his quest to become a man.   Roncommock teaches Skyco how to enter the spirit world and communicate not just with the spirits who guide their people, but also how to connect with the animals around them. He steps into the bodies and minds of an ant, a fish, and a bird, and each show him something new about the world—knowledge that he will need to be a great leader. He also learns other practical skills like hunting, canoe building, and how to start a fire.   Learning to properly use an atlatl and a bow are just precursors to Skyco's ultimate test, the husquenaugh, when Skyco is challenged to use his hard-earned skills to survive the harrowing, life-or-death ritual. Can Skyco pass the ultimate test and take his rightful place as heir?  

A book of rousing adventure and historical relevance, The Legend of Skyco: Spirit Quest brings to life the world of the Algonquin tribe before the arrival of English explorers.



Dr. Jennifer Frick-Ruppert is the Dalton Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Brevard College in western North Carolina, where she has taught since 1997. She earned her Ph.D. in Zoology from Clemson University. She teaches courses in environmental perspectives, biodiversity, biology, and natural history and was awarded the 2003-2004 Award for Exemplary Teaching at Brevard College.  She is a frequent presenter for naturalist groups, including the Roan Mountain Naturalist Rally, NC Native Plant Society, and The Wilderness Society.


Originally from South Carolina, she grew up with a love of nature and the outdoors that was fostered by her close-knit family. She listened to story after story around campfires, barbeque pits, and fishing ponds and is now telling her own stories to other listeners. Her writings all have a strong sense of the natural world, and she explores how people interact with nature.  Since she is a professional biologist as well as a award-winning teacher, her writings can be trusted for their accuracy in addition to their engaging portrayals.