Reviews for Native American History for Kids : With 21 Activities

Booklist Reviews 2010 July #1
Although it is part of the For Kids series, this gripping, highly readable overview will draw teens and even some adults into the history of Native Americans, from early times and the arrival of European settlers up to the present. The examples of racism are horrifying, including the early-twentieth-century Supreme Court ruling that Christian people had to govern "an ignorant and dependent race. Also horrifying are the accounts of forced assimilation, including the cruel boarding schools for American Indian children. Throughout, Gibson spotlights important individuals, from Geronimo and Sitting Bull to World War II heroes, athletes, the founders of American Indian Movement (AIM), writers, and political leaders. And she details American Indians' continuing, contemporary struggle for cultural preservation and civil rights. Accompanying the historical chapters are challenging activities, such as "Decipher a WWII Navaho military code" and "Write a journal entry as a student in an Indian boarding school." The lack of documentation for direct quotes is unfortunate, but a glossary, bibliography, and annotated lists of up-to-date Web sites are included in this useful resource. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 February

Gr 5-8--In an attractive format containing eight chapters, the text of this comprehensive look at Native tribes covers origin theories, Southwestern tribes, East Coast tribes, participation in Anglo wars, the Plains Indians, the destruction of the Native American cultures, and the resurgence of tribal rights and cultural pride. Each chapter contains a lucid summation of the topic under consideration, augmented with black-and-white illustrations and a craft or project tied into the subject matter. For example, "Fighting the White Man's Wars" discusses the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the war history of the nations of the Southeast. Sidebars cover the origin of scalping, Native American slavery, and brief biographies of notable individuals. The project for this chapter gives step-by-step instructions for constructing a model trading post. The background and instructions for all projects are admirably clear and well laid out for either students working alone or for class projects. This title is particularly well suited for classroom use. It is an excellent introduction to a vast and often ignored history.--Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary School, Tacoma, WA

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