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PAIUTE PRINCESS by Deborah Kogan Ray


The Story of Sarah Winnemucca

by & illustrated by

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-374-39897-2
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Sarah Winnemucca’s fearless determination along with her talent for languages and her commitment to education for her people made her a striking spokesperson, lecturer and educator.

Ray’s biography encompasses Winnemucca’s life from childhood through her work with the Peabody School she founded in 1885 in Lovelock, Nev. The heartbreak and challenges Sarah’s Paiute people experienced as gold and silver mining brought English-speaking settlers in droves to the Great Basin of Utah, Nevada and California form the core of the narrative. A picture-book trim size allows for substantial blocks of text to accompany Ray’s luminous full-page paintings, each focusing on a chapter of Winnemucca’s life. Quotations from Winnemucca’s autobiography as well as from other contemporary writings augment the account. Extensive backmatter offers more information about Winnemucca’s life (Ray explains that the term “princess” was conferred by white journalists) and her people, extending the range for this work well into middle school. The lack of page numbers or index is a slight problem for navigating back through the work, but the clarity of the narrative will make this an excellent read-aloud for older listeners.  

A compelling introduction to an extraordinary leader. (author’s note, map, timeline, bibliography) (Biography. 9-13)