Middle School (9 - 14) Books

POCAHONTAS, Ingri and Edgar d'Aulaire, Doubleday, 1949

With the release of the Disney cartoon has come an interest in directing schoolchildren to research Pocahontas. At this site there is a PocaSection that gives Native American opinions about the film. The d'Aulaire book has turned uprecently in a number of sources suggesting research projects for children.

Years before the film, Native reviewers said:

Ingri and Edgar d'Aulaire have poroduced many books that are part of the canon of beautifully illustrated and classic writing for childre. Although quite old, most of them are still in print, and show up regularly on recommended lists. And they contain some of the most blatant racist writing to be found in modern children's literature.

This book must surely contain every verbal and visual Indian stereotype known to humankind. The Native people are both naive and cruel, the women are squaws, the men are braves. The women do all the work, while the men and boys get to hunt, fool around, and capture white colonists. All the Indians are fascinated by white culture, which is clearly of a much higher order than thir own....The Indians behave in the fashion one would usually expect from savages. The illustrations are astonishing [bearing no relationship to anything worn by any Native American tribe, ever]....The story about John Smith is not true. Historians believe Smith was the one who made it up; he was known to be a great liar. A book to avoid. Review abridged from Through Indian Eyes (1992), by Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale

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

Last Updated: Saturday, April 13, 1996 - 9:17:41 AM