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Hold Up the Sky: And Other Native American Tales from Texas and the Southern Plains Hardcover – April 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-This collection of 26 Native American tales is similar in format to the author's Back in the Beforetime: Tales of the California Indians (1987), Turtle Island: Tales of the Algonquian Nations (1999), and The Wonderful Sky Boat and Other Native American Tales of the Southeast (2001, all McElderry). In an introduction about the tribes of the area, the author explains that the stories of most of the earliest peoples in the region were lost when their cultures were destroyed by invading European colonists. The Texas farming tribes of the Tonkawan and Caddoan language groups survived to tell their tales to collectors, as did the Comanche, Kiowa, Lipan Apache, and Kiowa-Apache hunters who followed the buffalo from the north and west into the Southern Plains, and the Osage who were forced west by white settlers. As it is in the author's earlier collections, the retellings are simple, straightforward, and often humorous. They vary in length from 2 to 13 pages and include creation legends, pourquoi stories, and trickster tales. Coyote is a major character in many of them, and he is sometimes outwitted by a smaller animal. Many of the stories are accompanied by a full-page, black-and-white drawing. The tribes from which they come are described in short entries in the afterword and "About the Stories" lists Curry's sources. This collection will appeal especially to storytellers searching for new material and to teachers and students of Native American folklore.
Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-7. Curry retells 26 tales from 14 different tribes whose traditional lands were in the southern plains and Texas. A brief introduction touches on the cultural changes that took place among the tribes after the Spaniards, and later the white settlements, pushed westward. Passed down orally until the late 1800s, the stories were recorded by missionaries, travelers, and scholars. The tales range in accessibility, appeal, and tone; some are humorous, some cautionary, some adventurous. A few are all that remain of tribes destroyed by war, disease, and displacement. Perfect for classroom units on Native Americans or folktales, many of these selections, with their easy narrative styles, will lend themselves to reader's theater. The simple black-and-white line drawings add little to the text, but brief appended information about the tribes and sources notes will be helpful. Karen Hutt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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