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I Am Apache Hardcover – August 26, 2008

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—At the end of the 19th century, 14-year-old Siki is a member of Arizona's (fictional) Black Mountain Apache, and an orphan who lost both parents in battles with Mexicans. When she witnesses the brutal slaying of her four-year-old brother, Tazhi, by Mexican raiders, she vows to avenge his death and earns an unusual place, through her skills and relentless training, as a warrior among the men of her tribe. In an overwrought, floridly poetic first-person narrative (e.g., "the wind flowed in [Tazhi's] veins, and the sun itself seemed to shine through his eyes when he smiled"), Landman takes readers on a complex adventure full of jealousy, romance, visions, dark family secrets, bloody battles, daring rescues, and painful dealings with Mexicans and double-crossing "White Eyes." Historical accuracy is questionable, despite research evident not only in an extensive bibliography, but also in Siki's copious explanations of tribal ways and customs. Landman states in a historical note that every tribe and place name is fictional, and that she's "made no attempt to produce an accurate historical novel." Despite some efforts to create complex, "real" human characters and interactions, readers will certainly take away a notion of the Apache as wronged but brutal, doomed, vengeful warriors, and 19th-century Mexicans as heartless villains. Exciting, but problematic, to say the least.—Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA
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From Booklist

Landman uses the tale of the woman who fought at the side of Geronimo as the kernel for her characters, world making, and plot, all of which ring with authenticity. Siki, a nineteenth-century Apache girl, describes the events of her teen years, from her young brother’s death during a Mexican raid, through her work to become a full-fledged warrior, and to the death of her mentor, Golahka. Interactions among Siki’s own people—including her rogue peer who leaves the tribe rather than submit to its code of honor, and Siki’s own acceptance as a female warrior—and those between the Apache, the Mexicans, and the “White Eyes,” who destroy the old ways of the native peoples, are woven skillfully into the action. With an eloquent voice and dignified pace, Landman creates a credible and artistic story with excellent characterization and engaging psychological and sociopolitical questions. Although this will appeal to historical fiction or western readers, this well-written novel has much to offer those who are not genre readers as well. Grades 8-12. --Francisca Goldsmith

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763636649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763636647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,918,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Harvey on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This novel -written by a Brit -was published in the UK as a Young Adult novel but in my view it can be enjoyed across the age spectrum and it is by no means essential to be a devotee of the Western to derive pleasure and profit from reading the book.It is narrated by Siki ,a young woman of the Black Mountain Apache tribe who witnesses the massacre of women and children by the Mexican army.Among those slaughtered is her 4 year old brother Tazhi .She vows revenge and elects ,in defiance of tribal custom, the choose the warrior's path.(While this was not unknown it is at odds with more usual tribal convention).She finds a mentor in Golahka ,a respected warrior ,and a passionate enemy in Keste ,a vainglorious warrior wannabe whose star is eclipsed by Siki and who turns renegade ,vowing revenge on her and his tribe .
Siki earns warrior status in a raid on a Mexican post housing those who carried out the raid on her village ,and helps rescue women and children taken by the Mexicans .However ,all the while the threat posed by the advance of white settlers is growing ,casting a shadow over the ancient ways .She must also resolve the mystery of her father's fate -he was believed to have died a coward's death -and come to terms with her own family history.

The book is a powerful tale of a young girl's quest for independence on both an individual and cultural level.It affords a fascinating glimpse of tribal culture,although some may find the mysticism of the scenes depicting dream visions a tad overdone .It is ultimately a tragedy but ends on a note of defiance and hope .Please do not let the fact it is written by a non Native American ,indeed non -American deter you from reading a brave and passionate book of enormous power ,intelligence and insight
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful By lv2read on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
As an American Indian woman I am appalled that this book was even published. It was written by a BRIT of all people who wrote it from afar. Did she take her ideas from movies and stereotypes wrongly depicting Indians? Let native people tell these stories. This book has no credibility whatsoever and is a complete and utter disappointment.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H. Race VINE VOICE on January 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my teenage daughter who 'devoured' in several days. It is remarkable that a book held her interest for this period while her life is so full of school, soccer, friends, computers and I-pods. The book may have some problems with histories and dates, and maybe authentic revelations of the Indian/Native Americans cultures and customs, but it gave her insight on how other peoples live and the tragedies and problems that we all experience as we go on the journey called life. She enjoyed it, and I enjoyed talking to her about some of the events and developments in the novel.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on September 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At fourteen, Siki knows that she will walk a difficult path among her tribe. Having no talent for women's work, Siki has chosen to live and train as a warrior. Many of her fellow tribesmen view her as a disgrace; an outcast. Siki only wishes for one thing - revenge.

The senseless murders of her mother and younger brother have sparked a bitterness within Siki that cannot be extinguished. Every day the attackers live is another reminder of how her family was slaughtered. Siki's warrior spirit is strong and will not be bent. The pride she feels for her people is boundless. Her training is arduous, but necessary. What she learns as an Apache warrior may very well save her life and the lives of her people.

Her path is chosen; she does not look back.

Landman expresses in her author's note that she has not tried to create an accurate historical novel, but rather one that is based on true events. She wished to explore how one might have felt if put in Siki's situation. The author allows Siki to narrate her own story, thus producing an extremely strong piece of writing. Because of this, the reader becomes intimately involved with Siki and the events surrounding her.

Siki is filled with wisdom and courage and that will appeal to many young readers. Those who follow her on her journey will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by: LadyJay
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gizmo on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This incredible book is about a little Native American Apache girl named Siki. Siki has lost her parents and her only joy is her little brother who is savagely murdered. Siki swears to avenge her brother and instead of following the path to womanhood, Siki sets out to follow the path of an Apache warrior. I am in love with all things Native American so the cover of this book caught my eye first and foremost. When I started reading the pages and diving into Siki's world I was astounded and awe stricken. Siki's journey is one of immense hardship, devotion and most of all the strong hold of the human spirit. I could care less that it was not written by a Native American, I care that it spoke to my heart and it in my opinion showed how incredibly humble and devoted the Apache are. An amazing read, I am in love with how Siki see's the world and all around her. If you have ever wanted to look through the eyes of a Native American, look no further.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Q. Gao on February 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book expressed me so much I decided to write a review. I thought it was a young adult book but the depth of human emotions in this book greatly exceeds my expectations. The author kept the book at a good pace and her language is concise and crystal clear. But it is her subtle expressions and demonstrations of people's emtions that has the overpowering effects on me. The tension between the heroine and hero is so strong, you almost felt their gazes and their unaquitted love. And the loss the heroine went through made me cry. It is a well-written book. I am very well read, and this book belongs to the books that will be remembered and highly praised by me.
Highly recommend this book for children over 12 years old and any adult.
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