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Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond Hardcover – February 14, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up–In this fascinating autobiography, the chief shares the events in his life, from his birth in 1914, to his training to be a Crow warrior when he was six or seven, to his World War II experiences. He tells his story with an elder's humor. Reminiscing about his first hospital visit to have his adenoids removed, he shares his fear of whites, of Sioux, and of ghosts. Experiences from Baptist, public, and boarding schools show the prejudices that he encountered. Four pages of color and black-and-white photos show his family and the Crow reservation in Montana. Using large print and short chapters, this informative yet entertaining read just might inspire children to interview their elders and write their stories.–Marlette Grant-Jackson, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Joseph Medicine Crow was born in 1913 on the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana. Trained as a warrior by his grandfather and unaware of the struggles of the tribe, Medicine Crow fondly remembers a childhood filled with outdoor games, mud fights, and family gatherings. Despite a terrible experience at the Baptist mission school, he went away to boarding school in Oklahoma, and in 1938, he became the first male Crow Indian to graduate from college. He studied anthropology until he was inducted into the army in 1942. For Medicine Crow's bravery in World War II, he was declared a Crow war chief. Four pages of color photos show Medicine Crow in traditional regalia, several family members, and a drawing of Sioux and U.S. soldiers at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Medicine Crow's straightforward style and gentle humor make his recollections easy to read and hard to forget, and they provide a cultural context and understanding that is rare in books about American Indians for middle readers. Karen Hutt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 950 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (February 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792253914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792253914
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. A. Topping on February 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Joe Medicine Crow is a national treasure. Born on the Crow Reservation in the early years of the twentieth century, he was raised among Indians who lived during the buffalo hunting days. Grandparents Medicine Crow and Yellowtail were important Crow leaders whose homes were the place of many gatherings. Joe soaked up the stories like a sponge, and he has been an invaluable source of tribal stories. In this book, in particular, he talks about his own upbringing, as his people's traditions adapted to life in America in the new century. He writes of his life using compassion and humor, but the difficulties he faced are clear. That he has led such a strong life is testimony to the fine man that he is. I found this book tremendously enjoyable, and the glimpse it gave me into this forgotten era is priceless.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book! I was interested in hearing his story about Custer at Little Big Horn. His life experiences and the stories of his family as well as himself was a HUGE bonus. I loved his humor. I had read a news article of his passing and am sad that we lost him. This should be required reading for students...not that they would have a problem reading it. Maybe I should say that this book should be furnished to all school libraries. It was a pleasure to add it to my library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful account of growing up with traditional principles from an indigenous people.
A story of the melding of the author surviving and walking in two worlds, his traditional people's and the white man's world.

The author is an amazing human being and an excellent, inclusive teacher enlightening anyone willing to listen to a way of thinking and approaching life that has gotten him to live beyond age 100.

Fascinating, yet simply expressed to allow any reader to absorb the essence of truth and purity of heart.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is made up of several short story snippets from the life of Joseph Medicine Crow. The intended audience was young adult, though certainly an adult like myself can enjoy it, too. Of course, because the stories are very short and to the point, one can't help but feel that there is so much more that could have been included here. The author tells brief stories about his formative years and his time in WWII. Good, easy reading for an overnight trip, but it might leave you wanting more.
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Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful entertaining book. I loved the narrator and the great heartwarming and sometimes heart wrenching stories. I would give anything to hear him tell these stories in his own voice. So happy I found this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Medicine Crow is an impressive man, about 90 years old now. The book is written in the brief and blunt sentences as he would speak English. He lived up to the old ways of the Crow when he stole fifty German horses from under their noses in World War II. A landmark in Indian literature.
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By J on February 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this to my boys at bedtime. It was a great read! It is kind of kid friendly and written to a younger audience, yet it is an important work of literature.
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