From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7–In characteristically robust prose, Marrin retraces the American bison's roller-coaster ride from Lord of the Great Plains to near extinction at the end of the 19th century, and slow recovery. Along with showing how the buffalo fit into the habitat's complex, interdependent ecology, he describes in vivid detail how the animals were hunted and utilized by indigenous peoples–That night, there were favorite dishes like blood soup, that is, blood poured into boiling water and thickened with brains–until being nearly exterminated through a combination of sport hunting, hide harvesting, and a campaign of deliberate slaughter intended to weaken Indian resistance to settlement. A generous array of accompanying illustrations includes crisply reproduced photos, both new and old; prints; paintings; and pictures of artifacts. Closing with an account of the buffalo's rescue and the state of both wild and domestic herds today, this title makes a splashy (sometimes literally so: An enraged buffalo…might suddenly turn its head, slicing open a horse's belly with its horns, sending guts gushing out) alternative to Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's equally passionate but more restrained The Buffalo and the Indians: A Shared Destiny
(Clarion, 2006).–John Peters, New York Public Library
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