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CHIEF JOSEPH by Lorraine Jean Hopping


The Voice for Peace

From the Sterling Biographies series

by Lorraine Jean Hopping

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4027-6842-2
Publisher: Sterling

Hopping wraps her cogent account of how the Nee-mee-pu (Nez Perce) were rooted out of their homeland and only subdued after a long and heroic pursuit around twin character portraits of the group and of its most renowned member. While presenting Joseph as one chief among several—and not a war chief, as sometimes depicted, but “a peace chief, a civil leader” whose greatest skill was the ability to “sway others with well-chosen words”—she places him in a peaceable, prosperous and steady society that enjoyed good relations with encroaching “So-ya-pu” until broken promises, profound misunderstanding and outright aggression escalated into violence. Joseph argued for peace before and during the tragic “War of 1877” and in later years too as he became a nationally known figure. His tale has been told plenty of times to young audiences, but this iteration comes in an appealingly compact format, with plenty of contemporary photos and maps, plus a generous selection of backmatter. (glossary, bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 11-13)