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A Boy Called Slow (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) School & Library Binding – April 1, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like most Lakota Sioux boys, Slow yearns for the special vision or manly deed that will inspire his permanent, adult name. Encouraged by splendid stories of his father's bravery, wisdom and leadership, Slow focuses his energy on becoming a warrior. Friends gradually begin to associate his name with careful deliberation. When the moment of his manhood arrives, Slow rides heroically against Crow warriors, earning the name Tatan'ka Iyota'ke (translated, on the final page, as Sitting Bull). Bruchac's (see Gluskabe and the Four Wishes, reviewed above) meaty yet cohesive narrative is richly complemented by Baviera's large, atmospheric paintings. Employing a somber palette marked by radiant bursts, the first-time children's illustrator evokes the solemnity and awe of ripening adulthood. Satisfying for its attention to historical and multicultural issues; stirring in its consummate storytelling. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-6?This picture-book biography recounts the boyhood of a real Lakota Sioux named Slow, who grew up in the 1830s. Today's children of any background can empathize with his efforts to outgrow his childhood name and take his place as an adult among his people. The illustrations, oils that are rich and somber, convey details of traditional Lakota life, from the warm, close interiors of the family home to a pre-dawn assembly of warriors about to raid their Crow neighbors. The text creates an equally subtle portrayal of Plains Indian life. Many stereotypes of Native American culture are gently corrected, as when the author acknowledges that "women are the heart of the nation." The traditional Lakota explanation for the advent of horses is given alongside mention of their historical introduction by European explorers. Dialogue in the Native language helps to convey the richness of the culture. By the time Slow earns his new name, young readers will feel they know a real person?the man who was to become Sitting Bull, one of the great Sioux warriors and a hero at the Battle of Little Bighorn. This book works beautifully as historical fiction; it is less successful as biography as none of the dialogue is documented. An inspiring story.?Carolyn Polese, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 690 (What's this?)
  • School & Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback; Turtleback School & Library ed. edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613073878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613073875
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,081,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Please bear with me as I explain something. When I was an undergraduate in college I did an art project that looked at photographs and their titles. I was interested in the ways in which people will completely reassess their interpretation of a piece of art when they read its title. Many times, a person will completely bypass the art itself so as to see the title and be told what to think. In much the same way, I almost immediately flipped to the back cover of this book to read information about the author. It was as if I had to confirm or deny my suspicions before they'd even formed. As it happens, I was pleased to read that Joseph Bruchac was a Native American storyteller. Would I have enjoyed this books as much as I did had I not read this? I don't know. In any case, the book is lovely. The text is respectful and unhurried, choosing to develop the characters before launching into action. It does not revert to any cliches that I could discover, and the drawings are superb. They are sometimes dreamlike, sometimes evocative shots of people going about their lives, and sometimes tent drawings. I know that some have complained that this book has a bit of a *gotcha* ending, and I have to admit that I agree. It's a surprise ending that comes as no surprise at all. Nonetheless, the story tells well and I would unequivocally recommend it for storytelling to kids. It would pair well with other stories of great Native American heroes.
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By A Customer on November 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book for my Native American week in ourpreschool. It's noted on the site to be for ages 4 to 8 year olds.This is not the case. There are way too many words in this book. The pictures are extremely dark for preschoolers to even enjoy the photos. I recommend this book for ages 6 on up.
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By A Customer on December 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I used this book in my 5th grade class as part of our study of Native America. It was very popular with my students, and many of them reread it after I had read it aloud. The class learned new facts from the story and new vocabulary form the pictures.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach 6th grade and this is a great story about a Native American who was named "Slow" because as a child, he did everything slowly, taking his time. When he became a young man, he was determined to show his father, a warrior, that he deserved a more warrior appropriate name. Students are shocked at the end when they find out who "Slow" really is. It's a story of determination and how when you set your mind on a goal, it can be achieved. Wonderful story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sitting Bull's (Iotanke Tatanka) childhood name, Slow will serve as great encouragement and enlightenment to students who see themselves as "slower" than their peers. This book not only provides a sensitive and well-researched treatment of a Native American hero but also the value of deliberate thinking. As an earlier reviewer pointed out, the book is a bit wordy for readers under 6, but for 1st through 5th graders the book serves as either a read-aloud or an in-depth look into Native American family life in the 1800's (a topic that gets almost as little treatment as current Native American life). It is rare indeed for children's books to both accurately capture Native American history and connect it so directly to the lives of modern-day children. This book by Bruchac is a must-have in any classroom. I would, however, pay the extra for a hardback version as the beautiful illustrations do seem rather dark in the paperback version.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good story. My son enjoyed it. He is a 3rd grader and a strong reader. He read it in about 20-30 minutes though, so it is not that long. We started to read it together before bed. I had to get up, and when I had returned he had finished it. So, probably fine for younger readers. But he really liked it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This ior adults or kids that feels pushed to go at the crazy pace the culture dictate. This shows that doing things "slow" can very well mean doing it mindfully and well as Sitting Bull most certainly did.
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Format: Paperback
This story of a young Lakota boy named Slow is beautifully told by Joseph Bruchac. The telling respects Lakota and Native American people and traditions: the love of their culture comes out in the way the story is told. The young boy is given the name Slow because after his parents observe him, they notice that he does everything slowly. And although Slow wishes he weren't called Slow, he soon earns respect for the way he does things: his actions are seen as wise and deliberate. They are slow rather than rash. When he is fourteen years old, Slow goes with his father and other men on a war ride against the Crow, their "favorite enemies." Slow is a hero on that ride and earns a new name: Sitting Bull. This is a well-told story and a look at the early life of a famous American.
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