- Paperback: 162 pages
- Publisher: Perennial; Reprint edition (June 29, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060723521
- ISBN-13: 978-0060723521
- Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.4 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Two Old Women, 10th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival Paperback – June 29, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
This novel of two Native American women abandoned by their tribe in the Alaskan Yukon won the 1993 Western State Book award.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-Velma Wallis adapted her prize-winning book (HarperPerennial, 1993) from a tale she first heard from her mother, an Athabascan Indian in the Alaskan Yukon. Its transition into audio format is impressive: taken from oral tradition, it's tellable and starkly poetic, while the deep rich voice of narrator Russell Means with his Native American inflections does much to enhance its power and authenticity. The story is compelling. Abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine, two old women are left to perish on their own. Although they've grown used to complaining and letting others do for them, the two resolve not to wait passively for death but to fight against it. With trapping skills they haven't used for years and strengthened by their bond of friendship, the two women survive the winter to ultimately come face to face with the members of their tribe, none of whom has fared as well as they. Utterly convincing in its details and resolution, this will offer listeners in seventh grade and up vivid insight into a Native American culture. At the same time, it rises above the particulars of time and place to become a metaphor with a message or inspiration not only for students, women or the elderly, but for all members of the human race.
Carol Katz, Harrison Public Library, NY
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
by Velma Wallis
This is a wonderful little book with a moral that is timeless and timely. With more elder care being left to institutions families are no longer what they could be. We lose so much when we are no longer in daily contact with our elders so that they can continually pass on the lessons of experience. Without that we are left to go it again for the first time and that often means failure.
It also teaches us not to cease working hard just because we can get away with being lazy when others will do for us. Stop doing something and you lose the ability to do it. A muscle needs to be used to remain muscle. A mind needs to be used to remain a mind.
Thank you Velma for passing on your stories to us.
I would also like to point out to those that did not like this book that half of the equation is what you bring to the book. Our interpretation and appreciation of something results not only from what that is, but from who we are.
The chief of the tribe must make choices - difficult ones at that. The conditions are harsh, the two old women have been using their age as a tool to get the younger tribe members to serve their whims - they even fake some physical maladies to play upon the Peoples' compassion. This, it turns out, backfires on them. The chief makes the decision to banish them from the tribe to serve the needs of the trible. He is concerned that the women will bring the tribe down.
There are times when people in charge have to make decisions that are unpleasant - this is a reality.
The women are left to fend for themselves and the tribe moves on. The issues of family, societal expectations, and betrayal loom heavily in the reader's mind.
It brings about the discussion of modern society's obsession with youth and our disdain for those who are aged. Our nation's homes for the elderly are brimming - this book speaks to that issue. Getting old does not mean useless!
The women call upon lessons learned in youth to survive. They also discover that they need each other in more ways than one.
While the book is an easy read-don't let that mislead you into thinking it is not sophisticated fare. The life-lessons taught are important for everyone to learn and take to heart. I am astounded by this book! It gets my highest recommendation. Buy it-read it-learn from it.
Velma's prose is clean and wonderfully readable. It is not a terribly long story and often felt like juvenile fiction because of the large type and illustrations, but it is a tale that all ages can and should enjoy.
I am buying several copies for local retirement homes and schools. I am interested to see the reactions from both groups.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, really enjoyed it. Shared it with my dad and he loved it too.Published 3 days ago by C. Streeter
I extremely enjoyed reading Two Old Woman. There's a lot that can be gained by paying attention to our elders. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Cecilia T.
I loved this book and have passed the copy around to a lot of people. It arrived in great shape.Published 7 days ago by TC Buff
Good story, worth sharing. The writing is mediocre by book-standards, but pretty "authentic" storytelling. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
this is a great story....I am buying it for native children, for whom I've been collecting some books representing Native American traditions....this one is very good.....Published 15 days ago by Nan Bovingdon
I loved this story. It's short and sweet (I read it in a few hours right before having to take a test on it) and the characters are very resilient. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Allie28
An amazing book. I had borrowed the unabridged tape (back when it was "books on tape") and listened to it in my long travel to work and back. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chris
I read a friend's copy of this and liked it so much I wanted my own copy. It is a wonderful classic.Published 1 month ago by C. Skidmore