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WALKS ALONE by Brian Burks

WALKS ALONE

By Brian Burks

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-15-201612-0
Publisher: Harcourt

From Burks (Soldier Boy, 1997, etc.), a brutally effective portrayal of the realities of the destruction of Native American culture. The Warm Springs Apaches, led by Chief Victorio, are refusing to go to the barren reservation set aside for them when they are attacked by “White Eye” soldiers. Walks Alone, a teenage girl, is wounded and separated from the remnants of her people, who are fleeing to Mexico. With her very young brother she is taken in by another band, which is rounded up and imprisoned by the White Eyes. When she attempts to get medicine to save her sick brother, she is beaten, and her brother dies. She finally catches up with her people, but they are attacked again, the men massacred, and the women and children enslaved. Based on the historical events leading up to the Battle of Tres Castillos, this is an unremitting tale of the misery inflicted on Native Americans. Burks, as in the past, pulls no punches, so there is no possibility of a happy ending as Walks Alone is marched off to enslavement; the hopelessness of the ending matches that of her people. Since the story is wholly told through Walks Alone’s perspective, the actions of others against her and her people are not only vicious, but utterly bewildering to her as well. (map, bibliography) (Fiction. 11-14)