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If You Lived With The Iroquois Paperback – October 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

How did people escape on the Underground Railroad? What was it like to land on Ellis Island?How did it feel to travel the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon? Ellen Levine has revealed worldsof fascinating adventure with her nonfiction books for young readers.

Although Ellen Levine enjoys reading and writing fiction, most of her books for young readershave been nonfiction. “Writing nonfiction lets me in behind the scenes of the story. I enjoylearning new things and meeting new people, even if they lived 200 years ago.”

“Real heroes,” Levine says, “aren't necessarily on TV or in the news. They can be ordinarypeople who are willing to take risks for causes they believe in. Nonfiction offers a way tointroduce young readers to real people who have shown tremendous courage, even when facedwith great danger. All of us have the potential. And one doesn't have to be a grown-up,” sheadds.

When she's not writing, Levine likes to share the excitement of research and the importance ofaccuracy with young readers. “Many young people think research is dull; you go to anencyclopedia, copy information, give it a title, and call it a report.” Using her books asexamples, Ellen explains how to get other, more interesting information. “I may not mention theexact words, but I talk to young people about primary and secondary sources. If I'm speakingwith third graders, I ask them, 'Where would I go if I wanted to find out what it's like to be athird grader?' Most will say, 'Read a book.' But when they say, 'Ask a third grader,' I knowthey've understood what I mean by a primary source of inspiration.”

For If You Were an Animal Doctor, for example, Ellen witnessed an emergency operation on acow. While doing research in Wyoming for Ready, Aim, Fire!, her biography of Annie Oakley,she got to hold the gun Ms. Oakley is believed to have shot in the presence of the Queen ofEngland. “It gave me such a strong feeling about this person,” she says. “That's part of research,too.”

Ellen Levine is the author of many acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Among them:If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon, If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island, I Hate English!, If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King, and Secret Missions. Her recent book, Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories, was named one of the Ten Best Children's Books of the Year by The New York Times, and Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association.

Ellen divides her time between New York City and Salem, New York.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: If You…
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; FIST EDITON edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590674455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590674454
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen Levine has always been drawn to stories of people who struggled for justice, and of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. She was fascinated by Henry "Box" Brown, whose escape is recounted in The Underground Railroad by William Still, first published in 1872. Ms. Levine was awed by Henry's ingenious idea and moved by his incredible courage. Among the author's award-winning books are Freedom's Children, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Darkness Over Denmark, a Jame Addams Peace Award Honor Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in New York City and Salem, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate Pendergast on January 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am fascinated by the cultures of the Iroquois, the Algonquins, and the other nations of New York State. Therefore, I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that any well-read adult will note the many historical inaccuracies in this book. It paints a too-rosy picture of Iroquois life; indeed, they seem like the perfect people with a civilization far outstripping ours in their peacable ways. There are subtly misleading statements regarding religious toleration, women in government, and many other politicaly correct topics. And there was no mention of the continual wars waged by the Iroquois league upon all of the neighboring tribes - a huge omission.

I will point out only one particular error: on page 70, the book states: "There was no such thing as slavery." Unfortunately, the Iroquois were just as human as Europeans and the rest of mankind, and were well known middlemen in the slave trade between their eastern and western neighbors.

I have a great respect for the Iroquois and the other peoples that lived here before us. I don't think we are treating them respectfully by whitewashing their very humanity. Nor do I think we are treating our children respectfully by omitting certain unpleasant facts and prettying up others.

I gave this book more than one star because it did contain some useful information about food, clothing, and ceremonies.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "gm81054" on September 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ellen Levine and illustrator Shelly Hehenberger have created a delightful book that takes the young reader into a historical look at life as an Iroquois Indian. The eighty page book is divided into subtitles which concisely tell the story of daily living for the early Iroquois people. As the book is written in second person, the reader is drawn into the story and feels as if he or she is experiencing tribal life. The soft muted colors of the illustrations give the book a feeling of serenity while the writing covers an extraordinary amount of information for young readers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ivy England on February 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for middle school aged children. I used it to study the Iroquois in my social studies classes. It is very informative without overwhelming younger children with too much information. The book was fun to read, and held the interest of my students. Also, I made my own worksheets/tests by dividing the book into different sections. The students all enjoyed this unit on the Iroquois and learned a great deal about the Native Americans.
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I really liked this book. I'm an adult, and even though I know this is a kid's book, I bought it to get a quick introduction to the Iroquois.

This book has 80 pages with a lot of content on each page, and some good illustrations. It's about the Iroquois people before the European settlers came over, which includes the tribes of Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca.

If You Lived with the Iroquois has a question and answer format, that really brought me right in the middle of the culture of the Iroquois. Here are some of the questions:
*Did everyone practice the same religion?
*Would you eat meals with your family?
*What kind of work would people do?

I liked how the book paints the Iroquois as a very important people, a people that a lot of the US culture is based on. The book implies that the US got it's concepts of freedom of religion and having elected officials from the Iroquois. I also like how the Iroquois are described as a lot more clean than European settlers, since they bathed every day. I think it would be cool to travel back in time sometime, and biggest detriment of going back in time would be how everyone would smell because people of the past generally had bad hygiene. After reading this book, if I ever get a time machine, I'm going back to see the nice-smelling Iroquois.

Pros:
+Brightly colored pages and pictures
+Interesting question and answer format
+Lots of content for a short, small, illustrated book
+I learned a lot of information in a short period of time

Cons:
-Might be too simplistic, but it is a kid's book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By a customer on March 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book about the Iroquois. We love all of these in this series. Very good in our opinion. We are recently studying all the different tribes. This book is extremely useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela West on June 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter used this book as a primary resource for a 5th grade report. Great information in easy-to-understand language. Highly recommended. And yes, she got 100% on the report :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on December 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 5th graders enjoyed learning additional information about the Iroquois. The pages are colorful and the information is factual. Treat yourself to history!
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