Books by Jewel Grutman

Released: Oct. 1, 1994

The story of Thomas Blue Eagle, a Lakota Sioux who has a pretty wild life—raids, visions, nighttime reprisals—until his father sends him to the Carlisle Indian School to learn the ways of the white settlers moving into the area. Carlisle was an educational establishment that ran from 1879 to 1918 in Pennsylvania. (Remember Jim Thorpe? He went there.) The school's mission was to indoctrinate young Native Americans with European culture, while attempting to eradicate any vestige of their native past. Lawyer/photojournalist Grutman, and her interior designer/photographer twin sister, Matthaei, present Thomas's story as a ledgerbook, with vibrant juxtapositions of colorful pictographic images and formal script written by Thomas while at Carlisle. It's a smart idea that comes to no good. Thomas claims that despite his six years in school he remains very much a Lakota Sioux, but he seems to have unwittingly bought in to some of the Carlisle doctrine: the notion of property, for example, which did not exist in his own culture. And what's supposed to signify his Native-Americanness sounds merely like modern environmental correctness. Promising, but with real credibility problems. (Historical fiction. 6+) Read full book review >