Kirkus Reviews QR Code
HOLD UP THE SKY by Jane Louise Curry


and Other Native American Tales from Texas and the Southern Plains

adapted by Jane Louise Curry & illustrated by James Watts

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-85287-8
Publisher: McElderry

Curry (The Egyptian Box, 2002, etc.) has once again produced a stellar collection of Native American tales. Bound by geographical origins, this collection represents tales from 14 tribes and at least five different cultures. The 26 tales are not generally well-known, although some are similar to tales from other tribes. “The Ghost Woman” tells the Kiowa-Apache version of the man who wanders into a tipi that is the burial place of a beautiful woman. She makes herself visible and is allowed to live with him as long as he does not call her “Ghost Woman.” Years pass, the couple has a son, and life seems very good. But one day in anger her husband calls her by the forbidden name and she vanishes, as do the husband and the son. In other retellings, this might have been the explanation for the origin of a particular constellation, but not so here. Each of the tales in this collection carries a familiar motif or two but has a variation not widely published. Curry’s satisfying retellings are straightforward, with little embellishment, and her end notes concerning the source of each story are interesting and authenticate the collection. Storytellers will value this resource and readers will savor the variety of clever tales. (Folktales. 8-12)