TO SEE WITH THE HEART by Judith St. George


The Life of Sitting Bull
Age Range: 10 - 14
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 Copious research substantiates this biography of Sitting Bull, but St. George (Dear Dr. Bell . . . Your Friend, Helen Keller, 1992, etc.) provides no real sense of the man or why he was considered a great leader. A labored text reads like a cut-and-paste exercise, a grinding out of fact after fact, without insights to behavior or an analysis of Sitting Bull as a real person. Much is made of Sitting Bull the warrior; nearly 100 pages precede the information that he was also a holy man who directed his life and the lives of the people for whom he was responsible through visions. Sitting Bull's joy in fatherhood is presented as dry fact; readers do not see any expression of the depth of his feelings until two-thirds into the book, when he mourns the death of a child. His noted sense of humor is not in evidence until the last pages of the book, when he tells a reporter that white people are ``a great people, as numerous as the flies that follow the buffalo.'' Some incidents beg for explanation, e.g., young Sitting Bull urges his warriors into battle with the cry, ``Saddle up; saddle up! We are going to fight the soldiers again.'' For those still unenlightened as to the bareback-rider stereotype, this is a startling sentence; without attribution in context or in notes, readers have no way of knowing the source of many quotations. (index, not seen, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 7th, 1996
ISBN: 0-399-22930-2
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996


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