Cover image for Death on sacred ground
Death on sacred ground
Feder, Harriet K.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Lerner Publications Company, [2001]

Physical Description:
191 pages ; 22 cm
When tenth grader Vivi Hartman arrives with her rabbi father at a Seneca reservation to arrange the funeral of a Jewish girl who died violently, she finds herself investigating rumors of murder.
Reading Level:
580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.2 4.0 49699.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.8 9 Quiz: 24125 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



A girl is found on a Seneca reservation murdered with an arrow through her heart. When they hear about the shocking death, Vivi and her father, Rabbi Hartman, find themselves in the middle of a mystery.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-10. In this third title in the Vivi Hartman mystery series, tenth-grader Vivi and her rabbi father travel to the funeral of a young Orthodox Jewish girl. It seems that pretty, rebellious Mindy Solomon was shot to death during a high-school archery club outing, and the police want to know why she died on snake-ridden Seneca Indian sacred ground, well away from the rest of the group. To complicate things, Seneca teen Jimmy Cloud is missing, and his Jewish girlfriend confides to Vivi that she is being stalked. As Vivi snoops around the tense little town, she discovers other suspects, including local teens who resent the Senecas; members of a born-again-Christian group who have been recruiting Jewish teens; and even Mindy's father. Secondary characters are somewhat flat, but Vivi and her father are appealing, and there's plenty of authentic atmosphere. A multicultural mystery for larger collections. --Jean Franklin

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-Impossibilities vie with implausibilities in this problematic novel. Vivi, a high school student from Buffalo, accompanies her rabbi father to a tiny New York village where a Jewish girl was supposedly felled by an unknown archer. She then sets to work to help a new friend disprove popular belief that a resident Seneca teenager is the murderer. While the author provides respectful glosses on being Jewish in a remote American rural town and how Seneca people ascribe kinship ties, she founders on many more fronts pertinent to her story. The accused archer is nearly blind; his friends willingly take Vivi into their confidence, even allowing her to dress in an ancestor's ceremonial clothing; the evangelical Christians at the local high school, led by the handsome young English teacher, are up to no good from the get-go; and, most alarming, the murdered girl's mother, a known child abuser, is never threatened with the loss of her younger daughters. That the murdered girl's body cannot be retrieved from where she fell because would-be rescuers are repelled by lively snakes-in December, in upstate New York-is not a plot twist that helps readers take any of this seriously. Even more issues are trotted onto center stage, however briefly. Few readers will swallow the array of oddities and foregone conclusions offered here.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.