From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4?By following a boy through his day, readers learn how the Wampanoag Indians lived in the 1600s. Their homes, clothing, food, and weapons are shown and explained in the course of the story. Their societal structure is introduced as Tapenum describes each family member's duties and his own desire to become a respected member of his community. Relating the information from his perspective makes it accessible and personal for youngsters. If they do not read the back matter, however, they may not understand that Tapenum is a representative figure, not a real person, and that his experiences are based on conjecture, not fact. The book is successful in showing that kids are kids no matter where or when they live. Large, colorful photographs, taken at a re-created Indian homesite at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, add strong visual impact. The text and pictures both demonstrate good attention to detail. Endnotes explain that much of what is known about the Wampanoags comes from archaeological findings in the area. They also provide background information and explain how history is re-created at the homesite. A glossary gives definitions and pronunciations for Wampanoag words and names used in the story. The book is a companion volume to Sarah Morton's Day (1991) and Samuel Eaton's Day (1993, both Scholastic), which describe children's lives in a 17th-century Pilgrim settlement.?Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-5. Waters and Kendall, who showed the lives of Pilgrim children in Sarah Morton's Day
(1989) and Samuel Eaton's Day
(1993), offer a useful companion book, a study of a Wampanoag Indian boy in the 1620s. Clear, full-color photographs, taken at the Plimoth Plantation historical site in Massachusetts, make this an unusually vivid visual presentation of Native American life. In the fictionalized story, young Tapenum, disappointed that he has not yet been chosen to become a warrior, hunts for food, shoots a rabbit for his mother, and goes fishing with a companion. Later he befriends a wise man, who teaches him about making arrows and learning patience. The story seems a bit purposeful at times in its inclusion of information, but it does a good job of dramatizing what life might have been like for the Wampanoags, who are often studied in elementary school because of their connection with the Pilgrims. Carolyn Phelan