Gr. 4-7. Chipeta was born in 1843 as part of a Tabeguache band, one of the 12 Ute bands that lived in the area that would become Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Chipeta married Ouray, who was appointed chief of the Utes by the U.S. government, and together they worked to promote peace between the tribe, the U.S. government, and the steady stream of settlers pushing into their homeland. Despite their efforts, the Utes were eventually forced out of Colorado and onto a desolate reservation in Utah. Krudwig's narrative attempts to explain what the Utes suffered and the deceit of the U.S. government, but middle readers may have difficulty following the complicated negotiations, politics, and personal relationships that were all part of Chipeta's life. The small black-and-white photographs are historically accurate, but the captions are often incomplete or confusing, and there are no maps or source notes. The absence of these aside, Krudwig tells a compelling story about a subject not often covered in books for youth. Karen HuttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Author
All authors dread the day that a negative review is posted for their book.
As I researched the book, there were few details about children, in relation to Chipeta. And yes, she did have grandchildren, yet she had adopted them. Out of respect, and by request from Chipeta's relatives, the adoption information was deleted. My publisher did everything they could to keep the manuscript fully in tact, yet due to the amount of space available for the book, and the enormous size of the manuscript, sections were deleted to fit the contents into the book format. The Introduction, was a detailed account of the experiences I had that led to the book's publication. I cannot not fault the reviewer for feeling "cheated" out of the information regarding the title, and or the fact that Chipeta indeed, did have Grandchildren. And yes, I was sorry that page 115 was missing a key sentence. These are design issues, and they happen to many publishers.
What is more important to me, was the fact that I personally traveled over 5,000 miles to research and write about Chipeta. I drove to countless places where Chipeta and Ouray had lived and traveled. I spent time on the Uintah-Ouray Reservation to try to grasp what life might have been like after the Utes left Colorado. I met her great, grandson O. Roland McCook, and together we worked tirelessly to create a story that would enlighten young people about Colorado's Ute people. The Ute Indian Museum was supportive of this manuscript and the project.
Chipeta's history is so complicated that one may never have the entire account of her life. I am proud of my book, and I encourage other readers to decide for themselves whether or not the book is of value to them. Perhaps someday, we can produce a larger book to include more of Chipeta's mysterious past. Until then, I do thank the reader for his/her honest comments. It is all part of the process of writing!