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A Kid's Guide to Native American History: More than 50 Activities    by Yvonne Wakim Dennis, Arlene Hirschfelder & Gail Rattray order for
Kid's Guide to Native American History
by Yvonne Wakim Dennis
Order:  USA  Can
Chicago Review Press, 2009 (2009)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

The book's cover is irresistible, with its depictions of Native American artists, icons, and symbols of cultural importance, illustrated in colors of earthy terra cotta and amethyst. Artist Gail Rattray hooks readers at first glance. Authors of A Kid's Guide to Native American History, Yvonne Wakim Dennis and Arlene Hirschfelder, do not disappoint either. They have crafted a unique narrative, equally beautiful in insight and revelation, that complements Rattray's talent. Even more, the book includes instructions to complete fifty simple-to-do craft activities related to the many Native American cultures.

Most of us grew up inculcated with highly sanitized, excruciatingly scripted versions of historical events between the United States government and American Indian tribes. Past historians vilified Indians, or at best, disrespected them as amusing, irrelevant accessories on America's march to greatness. In this way, the U. S. government justified its horrific strategies of ethnic cleansing and greedy usurpation of resources. This book tells the rest of the story, not in a vengeful tone, but rather, in the spirit of honesty.

A Kid's Guide to Native American History is not only fascinating and well written, it is important. To exclude the rich historical significance and contribution of the numerous tribes and nations, to fail to reveal the courage of the peoples, or to obscure the dire consequences and social ramifications of government policies, would cripple any child's capacity for justice and compassion. Certainly, as our children grow to adulthood, these qualities will be as necessary as any other, if humankind is to survive. I highly recommend this book to all parents, teachers, and libraries.

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