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Indian Shoes Hardcover – April 2, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (April 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060295317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060295318
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ray Halfmoon, a Seminole-Cherokee boy living with his grandfather in Chicago, is at the center of Smith's (Rain Is Not My Indian Name) slim collection of six tales. In the title story, Ray tries to take the edge off Grampa's homesickness for his native Oklahoma by buying him a pair of Seminole moccasins, which the two spy in an antique shop. But when he arrives at the store, a librarian offers the shopkeeper more money for the shoes than Ray has to spend. The boy then trades the woman his own hightops for the moccasins (which, says a grateful Grampa, "put me in the mind of bein' back home") and the woman displays the sneakers in her library, labeling them "Cherokee-Seminole Hightops." In other selections, the duo cares for neighbors' pets on Christmas Day, Grampa finds a solution to the dreadful haircut he gives Ray on the day of a big baseball game and the two share a special moment while fishing at night. Though the author affectingly portrays the strong bond between grandson and grandfather, the narrative bogs down with flowery or overwritten passages (e.g., "Ray's and Grampa's breath puffed cloudy as they trudged next door to the Wang home. In the driveway, Mrs. Wang's VW Bug waited to be freed from the snow like a triceratops skeleton embedded in rock"). Kids may have trouble sticking with this collection. Ages 7-10.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Smith adds her voice to the precious few authors portraying realistic contemporary life for Indian children. Although she tells little of his background, the author uses six vignette chapters to introduce Ray, an affable mixed-blood Cherokee-Seminole boy living in Chicago with his Grampa Halfmoon. With humor, compassion, and ingenuity, Ray trades his own high-tops for some old-time Seminole moccasins for his grandfather, overcomes wardrobe trouble to serve as ring bearer in a family friend's wedding, and harbors a houseful of neighbors' pets during a winter power outage. He wins third place in a local art contest, inspires team spirit for his baseball team with a unique and colorful haircut, and enjoys the quiet splendor of a predawn fishing trip with his grandfather during a visit with relatives in Oklahoma. There are no mystical nature spirits or cathartic history lessons, only the everyday challenges common to any contemporary kid, as experienced by an Indian boy who is firmly grounded in his own family's heritage. With its unadorned portrayal of urban Indian life, Shoes is a good book for any elementary-aged reluctant reader, and a necessity for indigenous children everywhere.
Sean George, St. Charles Parish Library, Luling, LA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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As a teacher and a school librarian, I recommend this book to my student.
Khandan mirza
This collection of contemporary Native American stories is funny and fun, but a underlying is a real heartfelt and wholesome love.
Greg H. Leitich
Heartfelt, almost poetic in its language, and full of moments of humor and pathos, Indian Shoes is a perfect read!
Philip F. Yates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Reese on June 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My response to INDIAN SHOES is similar to my reaction to Smith's other two books, JINGLE DANCER and RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME. It is rare to find realistic fiction that captures the lives of today's Native people----stories that present us as we are, not in some mystical, romantic, exotic or savage way. (We are a Pueblo Indian family.) Smith's stories and her fine command of her craft is a treasure in our home. Her stories make us laugh, give us quiet moments for thought, uplift us. As a professor of children's literature, I highly recommend INDIAN SHOES to pre-service and practicing teachers and librarians, and parents who seek literature that provides an authentic look at Native people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "alexwriter" on June 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My daughter (age 6) and I loved this book, which is about the relationship between a young boy and his grandfather. What was nice about it was the unexpectedness of it. It was not the usual school or historical stories written for this age group. Rather, they are just quirky unusual tales. I also think it is great that Ms. Leitich Smith presents Native Americans not only as traditional, ritualistic people who sit around telling allegorical stories, but as a living, breathing group. As such, this book is the perfect antidote to the usual "Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims" fare. My daughter lost her grandfather a few years ago, but Indian Shoes captures the essence of that relationship and is wonderful! We won't soon forget Ray and Grandpa Halfmoon.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Philip F. Yates on August 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Indian Shoes is an astonishing achievement that captures, in lyrical and sometimes magical language, the spirit and love that bonds Ray and his Grampa Halfmoon. Divided eloquently into episodes that explores their relationship and how they must bond their hearts and souls in order to retain their trust and faith and love in each other, Indian Shoes, in simple, yet powerful language, is a must read for all ages. From easing Grampa's homesickness, to figuring out how how to save the animals during a Christmas power outtage, these characters are complex-driven, fighting to retain the courage and love they have for each other while still maintaining their spiritual Native American connections. Heartfelt, almost poetic in its language, and full of moments of humor and pathos, Indian Shoes is a perfect read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greg H. Leitich on April 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ray and Grampa Halfmoon share the kind of relationship every kid should have with a grandparent, somebody who's there for you in good times and goofy ones, somebody who always tries to understand how you feel. This collection of contemporary Native American stories is funny and fun, but a underlying is a real heartfelt and wholesome love. Musical writing and gorgeous illustrations. Set in Chicago and Oklahoma, this beautifully crafted book is a great choice for third and fourth graders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on July 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In this collection of six tales about a boy and his grandfather, Ray Halfmoon goes to live with his Grampa Halfmoon in Chicago after Ray's parents were killed in a tornado. They used to live in Oklahoma, and still visit Uncle Leonard and Aunt Wilhelmina once in a while, but Ray can tell that Grampa Halfmoon is very homesick and would like to go to Oklahoma more often. In the title story of these six tales, their beat-up old pickup truck has finally broken down --- there's no way it will take them to Oklahoma. Ray can't do anything about the truck and he can't afford to buy a bus ticket, so Ray is trying to figure out some way to help ease Grampa's homesickness. Would a new pair of Seminole moccasins help? Does Ray have enough money to buy them?
These short stories are written for younger readers who like rhythms and repetition in what they read. The book is divided into episodes about the lives of Ray and his Grampa Halfmoon. It shows their love for each other, and how they try to do things to help each other. Ray learns the lesson of sticking with things that he starts. And both he and Grampa have to figure out how to help the animals they're taking care of during the Christmas holidays when the electricity goes out. Eventually, Ray learns what the biggest thing in life is --- even bigger than the biggest bass in the lake.
--- Reviewed by Tamara Penny
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debbi Florence on April 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This collection of short stories about Ray and his Grampa Halfmoon is entertaining, heart-warming, and fun. The first story has to do with Ray wanting to buy a pair of moccasins for his Grampa because it reminds him of the old days, but a someone else seems to want to buy them, too. The second is an amusing tale of Ray being a ring-bearer in a wedding. The third, my personal favorite, is a Christmas tale of Ray and Grampa caring for their many neighbors' pets. There are three more stories as well. Each story is filled with poetic descriptions that bring clearly to the mind of the reader the sights, sounds, and smells of Ray's world. The characters are real and each tale made me smile at the end. Very sweet with a touch of humor. As with her picture book, JINGLE DANCER, and her novel, RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME, Cynthia Leitich Smith uses lyrical language that makes her stories sing and her characters shine. I look forward to reading this book with my daughter.
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