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Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey Paperback – January 30, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This Newbery Honor book chronicles a young Indian's mystical journey that crosses many time periods. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Highwater is a wonderful poet and storyteller." -- -- The San Francisco Examiner

"Occasionally, not often enough, there appears a timeless work. Such a book is Anpao." -- -- The Washington Post

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (January 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064404374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064404372
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a 6th grade teacher, I first learned of ANPAO through a children's literature course. I was enthralled by the Native American (Blackfoot) culture and how Jamake Highwater used it to weave a tale of love, adventure, and history into one book. This past school year was the 5th time I have shared it with my children. It didn't matter what their reading levels were, they loved it, we shared it, and some, went out and purchased their own copies of it. You know something had an impact when a student, who wasn't necessarily the most proficient reader, relates something in his life to the characater long after the novel was completed. "That's something that Anpao would have done." I strongly suggest that all teachers of 6th grade reading or social studies, share this novel with their children.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I truly enjoyed reading this well-crafted book and agree with critics that ANPAO is a "timeless work" and Highwater is a "wonderful poet and storyteller." Highwater has incorporated a diversity of original myths, legends, and stories from the Northern Plains culture, in which he grew up, with elements from the Southwest indigenous cultures to create a Native-American odyssey that is universal in its appeal. Themes of bravery, love, cooperation, honesty, and respect are interwined throughout the work, giving readers from diverse backgrounds much to ponder and contemplate regarding human nature and human relationship with the planet. Highwater crafts his story so well that questions arise naturally, and readers are encouraged to think critically about the themes presented in the text. This is an excellent title to include on any upper-level multicultural reading list.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bob Newman VINE VOICE on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Let's start with the bottom line: this is an attempt at a collage of Native American stories united around a single, fictional hero (a hero who isn't found in any ACTUAL Native American myths or stories). I don't think it's all that successful, but it's a very interesting idea. The end, dealing with the coming of the Europeans, is the most original part of the book. I found it the most moving too, for I hope that the peoples of the Americas will live, will return. As an attempt to describe Indian thought, ways, and values, ANPAO has its moments, but I felt that a lot of European (white man) values had got mixed in, a lot of influence from that direction no doubt absorbed by the author over the course of his life.
On looking at the reviews on Amazon, I was surprised to find that it is being used as a text or reading assignment in schools. I think that this is a very valuable way to utilize the author's obvious ability, but being "slightly beyond" school, I had a different reaction on reading it. I bought the book to learn more about some specific Native American culture, but realized on reading it that it was more like a potpourri. Let's imagine a similar, potpourri-type effort to present European values and thought. Can you imagine a hero called "Justice" or "Señor Sacrifice" wandering through a mythical Europe on a quest, meeting Thor, Zeus, Don Quixote, King Arthur, and Beowulf ? I don't think such a concoction would do much for me. Should we then accept this book because it's about Native Americans and we want to support their efforts to preserve their cultures and garner more respect for who they are ? I think Native American literature should be judged by the same standard as the rest. No condescension. Momaday, Erlich, Alexie and Silko---top writers by any standard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bob manier on January 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Most odysseys and adventures that I've read are very good books. Out of all of these, ANPAO, by Jamake Highwater, stands out. It stands out because of all the magic mixed with facts. I think ANPAO is for people who like historical fiction books mixed with some action. It not only tells about gods and people that the Indians believed in. It also shows plenty of action, like when Anpao meets the goliath turtle that drowns two boys in the desert. I prefer a lot of action in books I read, so ANPAO fits me perfectly. In every chapter, he is either fighting something or facing a severe problem. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading action stories. The book ANPAO is about a young Indian boy named Anpao who wants to marry the chief's beautiful daughter, Ko-ko-mik-e-is. In order to marry her, Anpao must travel to the lodge of the sun and get his scar removed as a sign to Ko-ko-mik-e-is. The reason they can't marry right away is that the sun thinks she belongs to it. On his way to the sun's lodge, Anpao encounters many creatures, such as the evil birds by the lake. At the end of the book, Anpao gets permission to marry Ko-ko-mik-e-is. When he returns to the village, the white settlers invade, and the new couple run off together to get away from the settlers. The character Anpao was believable to me, because before his journey he was a boy who had to learn things about life. Anpao was a normal Indian. At the end of his journey, he was very wise and knew the world very well. Anpao is a believable character to me because people become smarter as they explore more. I enjoyed the use of conflicts in this story, because there were so many. I sometimes could not put this book down, because Anpao was always fighting someone or something.Read more ›
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