Middle School (9 - 14) Books

THE LEGEND OF JIMMY SPOON, Kristiana Gregory. San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990. (Grades 4-8)

Based on a true incident, this novel of a twelve year old Mormon boy taken to be the adopted brother of historical Chief Washakie is a mixture of historical accuracy and silly stereotype and ignorance. Use of the word "papoose" is constant, and Jimmy is continually harrassed by the hoshone about being white, even after two years of living with these people. This flies in the face of accounts of actual treatment of white adoptees. Several incidents of violence towards women and children have no basis in tribal cultures, and ring very false, as does much of the dialogue, which careens between "noble savage" stereotypes and modern English. Guess who speaks which? A book to avoid. Reviewed by Lisa Mitten and Naomi Caldwell-Wood

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Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996

Last Updated: Monday, March 11, 1996 - 11:37:17 AM