From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8–The story of this battle, commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, has slowly changed over the years. The image of a heroic general, with long hair streaming and pistols blazing, has been replaced by a picture of a commander who badly misjudged the Indians' strength and their determination to hold their sacred land. Drawing extensively from and making sound use of primary-source materials, this authoritative reconstruction of the battle recounts the course of events. Beginning with the white incursion into the Black Hills in the summer of 1874 and the discovery of gold, the narrative chronicles mounting tensions as the U.S. government increased demands that the land be surrendered. The text covers the course of the warfare beginning in March 1876, and continues to the Battle of the Rosebud, thus setting the stage for June 25, 1876. The Battle of Little Bighorn is laid out in detail, using maps to indicate troop movements and testimony of both Native Americans and army troops. The treatment is evenhanded, not faulting Custer as a madman (his decisions were not unreasonable, given his lack of experience), but also presenting a clear and sympathetic case for the Indians' defense of the Black Hills. Beautifully laid out with numerous period photographs of the people quoted in the text, as well as period drawings, paintings, and reproductions, this exemplary historical account creates a vivid picture of a time, place, and event. More detailed and immediate than R. Conrad Stein's The Battle of the Little Bighorn
(Children's Press, 1997), this is a superb addition to most collections.–Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 9-12. In dense detail that draws on a wide variety of primary documents, including eyewitness accounts from all sides, this handsome volume gives an almost blow-by-blow account of the famous battle that came to be known as Custer's Last Stand. Walker concentrates on the battle itself, fought on the Great Plains in 1876, and the book includes diagrams of each side's tactics. Many readers will need more background on the battle and on why it was so decisive, but Walker's exhaustive research does bring together the conflicting viewpoints of the whites and the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho fighters, documenting everything in source notes. The handsome book design, with thick paper, clear type, maps, stirring photos, and archival images, will attract readers to the battle story and then start them thinking about lasting historical issues. Other books in the series include Ronald J. Drez's Remember D-Day
(2004) and Thomas B. Allen's Remember Pearl Harbor
(2001). Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved