From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8. Allen and Smith profile nine individuals of Native American or Native American/white backgrounds from the 17th century to the present. Most were raised in American Indian communities, but several were members of families that distanced themselves from Native American culture. Geronimo, Will Rogers, Maria Tallchief, Wilma Mankiller, Michael Naranjo, and Louise Erdrich are among the figures included. The authors believe that identification as Native Americans has enriched the lives of their subjects and enabled most to succeed, in spite of the fact that many had to overcome prejudice to do so. A wide variety of experience is contained in this narrative, and the biographical sketches fill in gaps in American history. Writing from a Native American perspective, the authors express pride and passion in their heritage. Their commitment and fluent prose will involve readers of all backgrounds. A black-and-white photo or drawing of each subject is included. Susan Avery's Extraordinary American Indians (Children's Press, 1992) has a larger number of brief entries and is useful for reference, and William Loren Katz and Paula Franklin's Proudly Red and Black (Antheneum, 1993) features individuals of black and Native American heritage.?Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5^-8. Smith and Allen, who has edited several excellent anthologies of Native American writings for adults, provide admiring profiles of nine notable Native Americans. Four of their subjects, Geronimo, Will Rogers, Jim Thorpe, and Maria Tallchief, are familiar names, often included in collected profiles. The others--for example, Weetamoo, the Pocasset sachem who led her people in King Phillip's War; sculptor Michael Naranjo; and writer Louise Erdrich--may be less well known to the target audience but are well-chosen subjects. The entries are longer than the usual brief sketches found in collected biographies, a particularly nice feature allowing readers to gain a more complete understanding of the individual. The authors do not vilify whites, but an unmistakable thread of violated trust and broken promises runs through the profiles. A single black-and-white picture accompanies each biography, and a selected bibliography is appended. Chris Sherman