Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki

"Father nods in the sun, then opens his eyes suddenly and looks straight at me. He tells me he could hear the voice of Mother's father in mine, that those words have strengthened him. He reminds me that we are from the earth, that the Holy People made us, and someday, once again, we will put down roots in soil and grow strong and tall the way we were meant to be."
Sarah Nita[2]

The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl is the fifteenth book in the Dear America series. The book was written by Ann Turner; her first for the series. It was published in September 1999 and was followed by A Light in the Storm by Karen Hesse.

Sarah Nita and hundreds of other Diné (Navajo) are forced to walk to Fort Sumner by American soldiers.


"I warmly dedicate this story to Tracy Mack, who first believed in it."

Book description[]

"Mean Mouth shouts directions
There are so many men in blue! They make loud cries, their horses stamp, and all the time the Nakai is shouting directions to us.... "Make a line, all together! You can bring your animals."
Kaibah names him Mean Mouth for his tight, skinny lips, and I pull hard on her hand, reminding her that he understands our language and that we must be careful....
Mean Mouth tells us that we are going to the Place of the Soldiers, where we will be protected from out old enemies, the Utes. The white men will help us and feed us, for they can see that we are starving. Now is the time to stop raiding and stealing and become the kind of people that the Great White Father wants us to be.
I am so confused and afraid that the words stream over me like smoke. Where are they taking us? Will they kill us along the way?



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow characters


Main article: Ann Turner

Ann Turner is an American children's author and poet. She has written over forty novels, picture books, and poetry collections. The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow was Turner's first book for Dear America. She subsequently released Love Thy Neighbor for the series in 2003.


"I would like to give special thanks to Scott Smith, the Monument Manager of the Fort Sumner State Monument in New Mexico. He sent me a wealth of primary source materials about life at Fort Sumner (the Bosque Redondo) when the Navajos were interred there and courteously answered my many questions. His intelligence, breadth of knowledge, and generosity have helped make this project possible.
I also would like to thank Shonto Begay, Navajo artist and poet, who has given so generously of his time in reviewing this diary for errors. I value his opinion and thoughtfulness.
I want to thank my editor, Tracy Mack, who responded so enthusiastically to the first three pages of
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow, and who has guided and sensitively prodded me throughout this project. I would also like to thank Zoe Moffitt for her meticulous photograph research."


  • The portrait on the cover is a detail from a photograph held by the Arizona Historical Society labeled #28449. The background is a detail from a photograph titled Long Walk in Canyon de Chelly by Robert Draper.[3]


  2. The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow, Ann Turner, page 167
  3. The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow, Ann Turner, page 200

See also[]

Dear America

A Journey to the New World | The Winter of Red Snow | When Will This Cruel War Be Over? | A Picture of Freedom
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
West to a Land of Plenty | Dreams in the Golden Country | Standing in the Light | Voyage on the Great Titanic
A Line in the Sand | My Heart Is on the Ground | The Great Railroad Race | The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow
A Light in the Storm | Color Me Dark | A Coal Miner's Bride | My Secret War | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
Valley of the Moon | Seeds of Hope | Early Sunday Morning | My Face to the Wind | Christmas After All
A Time for Courage | Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Survival in the Storm
When Christmas Comes Again | Land of the Buffalo Bones | Love Thy Neighbor | All the Stars in the Sky
Look to the Hills | I Walk in Dread | Hear My Sorrow


The Fences Between Us | Like the Willow Tree | Cannons at Dawn | With the Might of Angels | Behind the Masks
Down the Rabbit Hole | A City Tossed and Broken

External links[]