TEEPEE TALES OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN: RETOLD FOR OUR TIMES, Dee Brown, Holt, Rinehart, 1979, grades 5+
Brown was at the height of his reputation for his best seller, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee when this book was first published, obviously trading on his reputation. He chose 36 stories from 19th century and early 20th century anthros and folklorists, arranged them in categories and retells them to get rid of archaic language, disconnectd incidents, obscure plots and meanings. This retelling actually removes depth and richness from the stories, and has ben the book was described by Native reviewers as surprising in its lack of sensitivity, especially notable in introductory and expository material. Native people are referred to exclusively in the past tense, and Brown says there wouldn't be any of these stories if non-Indians hadn't collected them. Overall, the original collected stories are preferable, but they are widely scattered. The retellings don't denature the stories as much as most retellings for children's literature. If the book is used from a library it's not objectionable, but money is better spent on recommended legend collections that stay closer to actual Native tellings. Reviewed by Paula Giese
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Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996
Last Updated: Saturday, April 13, 1996 - 9:17:41 AM