GRANDCHILDREN OF THE LAKOTA

This entry in the World’s Children series opens by situating the Lakota within the federacy of the Seven Council Fires that lived in what is now the Dakotas; Rose explains the seven major Lakota subgroups and where they live today. The examination of a Lakota family expands the discussion to include aspects of historical and contemporary life, from religion to schooling, ceremonial herbs, mythology, wild foods, and the sense of place connecting the Lakota to the Badlands and the Black Hills. The post-contact history with the Europeans is handled without a lot of frills: Custer was no friend, treaties were broken time and again, English boarding schools were used to disrupt native cultural continuity, and, until a law enacted 20 years ago, Lakota religious practices were forbidden by the US government. Rose introduces such cultural practices as memorial giveaways, tribal councils and tribal law, sun dances and powwows, making them a living part of a greater tradition. A good selection of full-color photographs accompanies the text, with a wholesome emphasis on the children—“the future of the Lakota Nation, so it is important to treat children with respect and kindness”—that will compel readers through the pages. Rose’s story of the Lakota operates on a number of levels, and in its no-nonsense way is briskly successful. (map) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 1998

ISBN: 1-57505-279-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MAMMOTH BONES AND BROKEN STONES

THE MYSTERY OF NORTH AMERICA'S FIRST PEOPLE

How and when the Western Hemisphere, particularly North and South America, came to be populated continues to be both mysterious and controversial for scientists. Archaeologists plug away with the tools at their disposal but have “more questions than answers.” Harrison does a good job setting the issue in context. He describes the earliest efforts to identify the original inhabitants of the continents, exploring the Clovis culture, believed by many to be the first humans to reach North America. After clearly explaining how scholars decided that they were first, he then lists the arguments against this hypothesis. In the course of looking at both sides, he introduces young readers to “the strict rules of archaeology.” The author demonstrates the precise work of those attempting to understand the hidden aspects of human history and how many of these old questions are seen in the light of new technologies and discoveries. The narrative is aided by both photographs and original illustrations that imagine scenes from both the distant past and the field experiences. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-561-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More-systematic treatments abound, but the airy tone and quick-facts presentation give this some potential as a...

MYTHOLOGY

OH MY! GODS AND GODDESSES

From the Basher History series

In Basher’s latest set of breezy “self”-portraits, 58 gods, demigods and mythological creations of diverse sort step up in turn to the microphone.

The entrants are limited to the ancient Egyptian, Norse and Greco-Roman pantheons and arranged in no particular order within their respective chapters. They range from the usual celebrities like Poseidon (“rhymes with ‘Joe Biden’ ”), Odin and Osiris to some who have gotten less press, such as Hebe—“Waitress to the Olympians”—and Gefjon, Aesir goddess of plowing. Along with mixing in such non-Olympians as Odysseus, Budzik swells the ranks by lending voices to Bifrost, Yggdrasil and even the battle of Ragnarok. The author’s introductory claim that the gods gave mortals “something to believe in and ideals to aspire to when life was looking bleak” is massively disingenuous considering the speakers’ own accounts of their exploits (Hel complains, “It’s really grim here. I get the dreariest dead”). Nevertheless, the sex and violence are toned down to, for instance, Hera’s tart reference to “my hubby’s mortal girlfriends” and Isis’ allusion to “complicated family vibes” (following her brother/husband Osiris’ dismemberment by their brother, Seth). In a radical departure for Basher, some of his dolllike cartoon figures bear grimaces rather than cutesy smiles.

More-systematic treatments abound, but the airy tone and quick-facts presentation give this some potential as a lighter-than-air refresher. (chart and foldout poster of Greek/Roman equivalents) (Mythology. 10-12)

Pub Date: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7534-7171-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more