Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Written by: Russell Freedman
"As in his other acclaimed pictorial histories, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman brings a lost world vividly to life for young readers. In accessible text full of fascinating details, he describes the importance of the buffalo to the way of life of the Great Plains Indians, paying particular attention to their various hunting methods, and the uses found for each part of the animal. He then moves on to the devastation caused by the gradual encroachment of white settlers, whose ferocious, firearm slaughter of the animals brought the species to near-extinction."
Scholastic Book Review
Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa
Written by: Shonto Begay
Junior High and High School Grades
"Begay presents a very personal view of contemporary Navajo life in this picture-book collection for older readers. Pairing 20 of his paintings with original poetry, Begay moves from the spiritual aspects of Navajo life through personal childhood memories into striking present-day images, concluding with an affirmation of continuing life and rebirth. Although his poetry especially speaks to the ongoing struggle of living in a "dual society," his paintings are firmly rooted in the Navajo culture. His work is not angry or sentimental; there is an honesty and straightforwardness that allows his readers/viewers insight into his world-view. The variety of images reflects the complexity of life that many contemporary Navajo face. An excellent addition to poetry and art collections."
Pink and Say
Written and Illustrated by: Patricia Polacco
Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades
"This a story of interracial friendship during the Civil War between two 15-year-old Union soldiers. Say, who is white and poor, tells how he is rescued by Pinkus (Pink), who carries the wounded Say back to the Georgia home where Pink's black family were slaves. In a kind of idyllic interlude, Pink and his mother nurse Say back to health, and Pink teaches his friend to read; but before they can leave, marauders kill Pink's mother and drag the boys to Andersonville prison. Pink is hanged, but Say survives to tell the story and pass it on across generations."
The Navajo Year, Walk Through Many Seasons
Written by: Nancy Bo Flood
"For the Navajo people, the new year begins in October, when summer meets winter. The Navajo Year, Walk Through Many Seasons follows the Navajo calendar, and provides poetic descriptions of the many sights, sounds, and activities associated with each month. In November, there are string games and stories; in April, planting of corn, beans, and squash; and in July, rodeos and monsoon rains. Follow Coyote through the year, and explore how the Navajos observe the rites and passages of each month."