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Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story Hardcover – March 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2011-2012
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810983990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810983991
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 3–6—Born in 1863, Black Elk, an Oglala-Lakota medicine man, was warned from an early age to beware the "Wha-shi-choo," or white people, and for good reason. By the time he was 16, his people had been attacked on their lands, fought at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and been confined to grim reservations, their way of life forever changed. Told in a first-person narrative, this handsome biography is adorned with vibrant acrylic paintings that depict the mystical images (spirit voices and visions) that Black Elk first experienced as a child. A fever vision at age nine, in which he met with the six grandfathers, the ancestral beings, proved to be a pivotal experience for him. As a teenager, he ultimately led a Horse Dance ceremony in which he brought a message of hope and instruction to his people. In addition to his respected tribal status, his involvement in many landmark events, from his travels with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show to being injured at the Wounded Knee massacre, makes him a unique historical figure. Aptly chosen photographs (some of which are graphic images of buffalo carcasses and a scene of a mass grave at Wounded Knee) provide accurate historical perspective. An author's note on understanding his Great Vision and background information on the book are included. This is an important contribution to Native biography.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This handsomely designed, large-format book tells the story of Black Elk (1863–1950), a Lakota man who saw many changes come to his people. In this first-person, present-tense account, Black Elk says that as a nine-year-old boy, he is blessed with a Great Vision. At 12, he fights in the Battle of Little Bighorn. After traveling in Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and, later, experiencing the massacre at Wounded Knee, he retreats to a reservation, where he holds his vision in his heart and offers it to others. Often quoting from Black Elk Speaks (1932), Nelson makes vivid the painful ways life changed for the Lakota in the 1800s, and throughout he questions how Black Elk’s vision, which explains that humans must realize they are living in a circle of supportive life, juxtaposes against harsh reality. It is a question readers will ponder as well. Colorful, imaginative artwork, created using pencils and acrylic paints, is interspersed with nineteenth-century photos, underscoring that this dramatic account reflects the experiences of a man who witnessed history. Back matter includes an extensive author’s note, a detailed time line, source notes, and a source bibliography. A helpful, attractive map on the endpapers frames this unusual presentation. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Slag on February 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just received a copy of Black Elk's vision. It's a wonderful read/eye candy for any age, really. I can tell that S.D. was teacher, in addition to being an artist and a storyteller. It's really my kind of book - it combines actual history/photos with evocative illustrations of the spirit world, the world of dreams, and prophecy. It's simply a beautiful book with all the right reference aides and resources for young readers. I love the color palette ... in the mystical drawings. S.D. is also true to his Lakota legacy - a reader can see the influence of ledger drawings. The book teaches young readers, but it's not like 'work' - and Lakota children can see many layers of meaning in it from their cultural heritage. I appreciate a book that is beautiful as well as informative. Interesting on many levels. Well done, Mr. Nelson.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Black Elk's Vision" is a masterful picture book retelling of the life and vision of Black Elk, Oglala-Lakota holy man (1863-1950). Told in Black Elk's own words, "Black Elk's Vision" describes the experiences of the young Native American who witnessed the massive influx of the Wha-shi-choos (white men) along with the slaughter of the buffalo and a resulting change of lifestyle for the Lakota, gathered from their vast hunting territories onto much smaller reservations. These were dark days for Black Elk and his people, but his youthful visions remained strong enough for him to imprint a new ideal to help his people and ultimately all people grasp the significance of their part in the vast Circle of Life. black Elk's Vision is further enhanced by the inclusion of classic photograph montages of archetype images of Black Elk and his world, a timeline, a bibliography, an index, and the incredibly beautiful artwork of S. D. Nelson, member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of the Dakotas, equally "fluent in both narrative and illustrations." "Black Elk's Vision" is likely to be more accessible to children age 10 and older, but younger children may be drawn to it also.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By martha hunt on December 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a grandmother with high expectations when it comes to acquiring books for my grandchildren. Presently, some of the books that are available and a popular read for young people, in my judgement, don't have the integrity of well written literature or subject matter. BLACK ELK'S VISION by S.D. Nelson is beautifully written and illustrated. It has been thoroughly researched and emphasizes those positive qualities of love and respect for family, history, and other cultures. Thank you, Mr. Nelson, for writing and illustrating a book worthy of my grandson's reading time and, furthermore, giving him an authentic insight into a world that he is just beginning to explore. He will love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By livinitright on March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I knew nothing of Black Elk before reading this book but it has now inspired me to read more. I cannot wait to share this book with my children tomorrow when they get home from school. Not only is it importantly historical but the MESSAGE is so powerful! Black Elk's vision is something that we should all know and take seriously to heart and EMBRACE. A copy should be in every classroom :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Evans on June 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even though this book is designed for children it's a great book for adults as well. The illustrations and photographs are magnificent. The book captures Black Elks Vision and is very educational. A wonderful book...
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