INDIAN SHOES by Cynthia Leitich Smith


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10


A very pleasing first-chapter book from its funny and tender opening salvo to its heartwarming closer. Ray and his Grampa Halfmoon live in Chicago, but Grampa comes from Oklahoma. Six vignettes make up the short chapters. Among them: Ray finds a way to buy Grampa the pair of moccasins that remind him of home and Smith gets in a gentle jab at the commercialization of Native American artifacts. At a Christmas stuck far away from the Oklahoma relatives the pair finds comfort and joy even when the electricity goes out, and in a funny sequence of disasters, a haircut gone seriously awry enables a purple-and-orange dye job to be just the ticket for little-league spirit. The language is spare, clean, and rhythmic, with a little sentimentality to soften the edges. Ray and Grampa have a warm and loving intergenerational bond that’s an added treat. With a nod toward contemporary Native Americans, Grampa tells Cherokee and Seminole family stories, and when Ray gets to be in a wedding party, the groom is Polish-Menominee and his bride is Choctaw. An excellent choice for younger readers from the author of the bittersweet Rain Is Not My Indian Name (2001). (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-029531-7
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2002


ChildrenFERAL NIGHTS by Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
ChildrenDIABOLICAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
ChildrenTANTALIZE by Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Cynthia Leitich Smith


ChildrenTUKI AND MOKA by Judy Young
by Judy Young
ChildrenMARVIN MAKES MUSIC by Marvin Hamlisch
by Marvin Hamlisch
ChildrenTHE CROSSING by Donna Jo Napoli
by Donna Jo Napoli