Reviews for First People

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 January

Gr 5 Up--This rich pictorial work serves as an entertaining, informative, and visually appealing introduction to American Indian culture and history. Each of the seven chapters covers a different time period in chronological order (a detailed time line is included in each), starting with "The Beginning," or the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago during which the first humans are believed to have arrived in North America via the Bering Strait. One chapter describes in handsome spreads the diverse and varied cultures within geographic regions, from the early Mound Builders to the Arctic and Subarctic tribes. Three chapters focus on the coming of the Europeans, the resulting conflict, and the often devastating impact that contact had on tribal life. The remaining two chapters describe life on reservations, assimilation, and the American Indian Movement, which started in the 1960s and remains active today. The glossy photographs, colorful drawings, and easily accessible paragraphs are similar in layout to the "Eyewitness" books (DK) and make for an easy-to-use overall package. However, this book is much longer and broader in scope than titles in that series and is best suited to more mature readers for browsing or as a supplemental resource for reports.--Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

[Page 127]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2009 February
In his introduction, the author points out that many people have a difficult time connecting historic Native people with contemporary American Indians and are unaware of the diversity of tribes in North America. The author also denotes that American Indian issues are uncomfortable for the dominant culture and says that he hopes to provide a better understanding of them with this book. Most of the content is historical and focuses on Indian life up to the early-twentieth century, describing a variety of cultures before and after contact, as well as significant historical events. Topics include daily life, ceremonies, and famous people, as well as wars, removal, and assimilation. Photos, such as images of children before and after entering a boarding school, enhance the textThis book is better than many others on the topic, but King has not successfully carried out his mission. For example, a section on the Aztec and the Maya gives the impression that their cultures are extinct when they are very much alive. King touches on some significant issues and events in the contemporary period, including Termination, the American Indian Movement, fishing rights, economic development, and sports mascots, but because the book overlooks any in-depth discussion of sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights, these issues and their seriousness for Indian people will not make complete sense to readers, who would benefit greatly from a clear understanding.--Jenny Ingram Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. Biblio. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix. 3Q 3P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.