"Her use of imagery paints a vivid picture of a magical land and magical creatures. The reader can envision the island, the waters, the town, the characters as if they were there. . . The reader is is able to watch her grow from a child intoan important leader who gains energy from her surroundings."

Lori Mills

Bay Mills News

 I love how this book is a fantasy for younger audiences but it has such deep and wonderful themes inside it! Wonderful imagery as well, can picture each scene! Protect and nurture Mother Earth!



This book was really well written. Great story line and great mix of cultures. Love the idea of magic, culture, and even fairies that were woven throughout the story. Can't wait till the next one!



VR's initial trilogy is a unique blend of fantasy and Ojibwe / Lakota culture and language, yet without the typical political fare in which much of Native American writing mirrors, 'Avatar'. Instead, Janis composes strictly out of creativity, indigenous linguistics, and even more romance. The read is both edgy, and delightful. No one can read only Book One, without purchasing Books Two, Three.

K. Close


I think this book is a good book for a young adult or even an adult to read, I liked the thought that all the characters had native names, this is the first book I read that was written by a native, it’s good that there are native authors out there and have the imagination to write a fantasy book. I like the fact that they were elves.



I loved the book, I already gave it to my 5 yr old daughter. I am not a hardcore book reader but the book caught my interest and I have to say it was a good read. It gave me a sense of pride to know that our native people are out there accomplishing great things. It is encouraging. I love the characters and the story. I look forward to the movie and I do plan on reading more of the Hidden Powers books. Thank you so much for being a positive aspiration to all of us in the Native Community. Congrats on your books.

Quincey Jones


V R Janis’ Hidden Powers is a very interesting novel to read. It is about a young girl who runs away from her family and where she grew up, something anyone could relate to. She finds that she ran away for a very good reason. I like how Janis used her own cultures and where she grew up to write this novel. I like especially that she used “The Black Hills of South Dakota” in her writings. When I was younger, I have always heard stories about “little people,” but they weren’t good stories. She used elves and their purpose to save the earth. These forest elves were located in the Black Hills which made me want to keep reading. I liked how she used all fantasy and nothing political in her novel. Even though it was written for young adults, I would recommend it to everyone no matter how old they old. 



Reading a book written by a Native with elves and dwarfs is new to me. But it is nice to know someone has the motivation and imagination to write a book such as Hidden Powers. Reading (ABOUT THE AUTHOR), I feel she wrote to give the gift of stories to not only her children, but to all children and young adults. If I am correct most of the characters have Anishinaabe (Native) names which have a translation in the back of the book. This book can be read to children and keep their minds going for hours. V R Janis takes the character Papakoosigun on a new and unknown trip through life. Many young adults can read and relate to Papakoosigun. Knowing it is just a story but still similar to reality and a time to just let their imaginations go with the story. A good read with many characters and covering the distance from the ocean to South Dakota If you want to relax and run in an imaginary world for a few hours read this book. It's a nice story.



I found "Hidden Powers" to be very inspirational due to the characters practice of respecting the earth and each other. The homage paid to Native Americans entwined with aspects of the fantasy world was done with such creative wisdom that it gives the reader a personal insight to the background of the author. V.R. Janis does a remarkable job of expressing and translating her Ojibwe culture throughout the book. The kindness that was shown to Papakoosigun by the elder Anishnaabe lady and the two elves was very admirable. This is a great read for the target audience who may just be realizing their own identity and self-worth. My 12 year old niece loved the first to books and is looking forward to reading the next one.



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