CLIMBING SUN: The Story of a Hopi Indian Boy by Marjorie & Elizabeth Emanuel Thayer

CLIMBING SUN: The Story of a Hopi Indian Boy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a fictionalized version of a real Hopi Indian's 50-year-old memory, Hubert (his assigned, Anglo name) is eleven in 1928 when he is sent away to a government Indian school to learn white ways. He is bewildered on arrival by the lessons in English (other languages were forbidden even between the boys); and an early act--catching a football and running with it, the wrong way, at a game he was supposed to be watching--makes him the enemy of older, Navaho George, for whom the pass was intended. But George's vengeance turns to friendship when Hubert refuses to tattle on him; and at the end of the school year George goes home with Hubert for a summer that ends with the impressive Hopi Snake Dance ceremony. The authors begin artificially with Hubert getting on the train for school; they make revelations via such devices as having George ask ""Gee. . . Do the priests really dance with live rattlers in their mouths?""; and in general their fictionalization tends to make this more contrived than immediate. However, the fact that Hubert is real gives some interest to the glimpses of Hopi customs and forced Americanization.

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 1980
Publisher: Dodd, Mead