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Sitting Bull: Dakota Boy (Childhood of Famous Americans) Paperback – April 1, 1996
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About the Author
Augusta Stevenson was a writer of children’s books and a teacher. She wrote several Childhood of Famous Americans titles, including books about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Paul Revere, Sitting Bull, Benjamin Franklin, and Molly Pitcher.
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One of a few things that worried me (as a Santee Sioux person) was the use of the denigrating and dehumanizing word "squaw" throughout the book. Among my people, it would be a great, great insult to call a woman such a terrible thing. I think if the story were to be re-edited, the wonderful word "woman" could be placed in those instances. Another instance that worried me was the calling one woman a "witch". While there have always been "medicine women" throughout many ages, the use of the word takes the reader to another place that is not consistent with Dakota/Lakota/Nakota history and culture. An afterword by the editors on the use of the name "Sioux" and the words mentioned above may be of good use.
These two instances do not deter me from recommending this book. If anything, they may lead to conversation and a better understanding of Sioux cultures (note that there are more than one) and the use of language around concepts not indigenous to our own culture, i.e., "witch" vs. "medicine woman".
This is a great book for kids, but they may need a little guidance with it. I still haven't decided if it would be appropriate for my church's library and will first talk about this book with other elders.