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Native American History for Kids: With 21 Activities    by Karen Bush Gibson order for
Native American History for Kids
by Karen Bush Gibson
Order:  USA  Can
Chicago Review Press, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Not only is this a good general introduction to the Native American peoples but the accompanying activities also allow young readers eight or nine years of age and older the opportunity to get involved in some hands-on projects.

With more than 562 Native American tribes, the author had a lot of material to select from. Gibson's approach is to move chronologically, tracing native life in North America beginning with the Ancestral Puebloans of the Southwest and ending with a look at Indian culture today.

Obviously, in just over 120 pages this book offers just a cursory look at tribes such as the Zuni, Navajo, Iroquois, Cherokee, Arapaho, and Chumash. Its strength is that young readers can use this well illustrated volume as a jumping off resource for further, more detailed study of all the Native Americans.

Although some of the activities are rather inane (constructing a watering tool or telling a story Indian style) others are quite clever and will give the child a sense of Native American culture.

I particularly liked the instructions for playing a game called ball-and-triangle, a plan for constructing your own totem pole and the recipe for Arapaho fry bread.

Also, although the author does include some information about Native Americans living in Alaska, she doesn't do anything with Canadian tribes.

As a general reference which can be used to enkindle an interest in this subject in young readers, this is an excellent resource. There's lots of information and the book's overall design is very appealing.

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