Archive for the ‘Native American’ Category

Swamp, J. (1995). Giving thanks: A Native American good morning message. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.
Swamp bases Giving Thanks on a traditional Iroquois message.  The story gives thanks to the Earth and all living things inhabiting the Earth.

My grade: B+
My grade is mostly due to the fact that I am not sure how entertaining this book would be to children.  The illustrations are beautiful, but the story may not hold the interest of young readers that well.

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McMillan, B. (1998). Salmon summer. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Salmon Summer follows nine-year-old Alex as he spends his summer at an Alaskan fish camp with his family. A section at the end of the book explains Alex’s heritage, native Alaskan, and defines many of the terms found in the book.

My grade: A
This book probably is not for squeamish children because many of the pictures are graphic (birds grabbing fish, cleaning of the fish, etc.).  However, it ties in nicely with today’s trends of understanding the origins of the foods we eat.

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Bruchac, J. (1993). The first strawberries: A Cherokee story. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.
This Cherokee myth both explains the origin of strawberries and also serves as a reminder to readers that words spoken in anger can do great harm.

My grade: A
I will admit up front that I am partial to Cherokee tales.  A small part of my heritage is Cherokee.  I think this story is particularly sweet (pun intended) and also teaches a valuable lesson.

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Bruchac, J. (2005). Code talker: A novel about the Navajo marines of world war two. New York, NY: The Penguin Group.
In Code Talker, Bruchac traces Ned Begay’s story from his early days in a Navajo boarding school through his service during WWII and beyond.  Bruchac also relates the story of Navajo code talkers, whose unbreakable code was essential to the war effort.

My grade:  C
I am intrigued by the WWII code talkers and liked learning more.  However, I was disappointed by Bruchac’s stereotypical treatment of the one character from the South.  Why did Georgia Boy have to be illiterate?  And why was he the ONLY character to speak in dialect?  Furthermore, the dialect was not even correct.  I am sure that my reaction is heightened by the fact that I am a native Georgian, but I was turned off from this otherwise good book due to what I have just described.

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