WALK THE WORLD'S RIM by Betty Baker
Kirkus Star

WALK THE WORLD'S RIM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Indians of the Southwest are this author's special subject. Little Runner in '62, The Shaman's Last Raid in '63 and The Treasure of the Padres in '64 have shown her to be a talented storyteller moving with ease from one reading level to another offering amusement and adventure. Walk the World's Rim is her most serious book because, although adventure and comic relief are here, it cuts deeply into one of the most troublesome problems antiquity bequeathed to the present. slavery can be abolished by law, but how to abolish the hangover of subconscious shame associated with the condition by those who descended from slaves? -- or eradicate the unearned superiority assumed by those who did not? In the characters of Esteban, a Negro slave, and Chakoh, a Texas Indian boy, the meaning of honor regardless of condition of servitude is examined. To the Spanish among whom they both moved, both were considered members of inferior races. Esteban (based on the real character) had come as a slave with the disastrous Spanish expedition to Florida in 1527 and was one of the few survivors of a party which had numbered 600 men. To Chakoh (a fictional character) he was everything a man should be -- courageous, strong, inventive and wise -- but the boy could not bring himself to believe that this man was a slave. Chakoh's tribe had nothing but its freedom and stayed away from richer territory to avoid the slave holding tribes to the north. When Chakoh joined Esteban to ""walk the world's rim"" into Mexico, he learns much that may someday be of practical value to his tribe. He also learns some of the hardest lessons of all -- the nature of loyalty, the cruelty of circumstance and that what makes an honorable man need not depend on his status within a given society.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1965
Publisher: Harper & Row