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Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom
     

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom

5.0 1
by Tim Tingle, Jeanne Rorex Bridges (Illustrator)
 

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When it was first published, Crossing Bok Chitto took readers by surprise. This moving and original story about the intersection of Native and African Americans received starred reviews and many awards, including being named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a Jane Addams Honor Book. Jeanne Rorex Bridges’ illustrations mesmerized

Overview

When it was first published, Crossing Bok Chitto took readers by surprise. This moving and original story about the intersection of Native and African Americans received starred reviews and many awards, including being named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a Jane Addams Honor Book. Jeanne Rorex Bridges’ illustrations mesmerized readers—Publishers Weekly noted that her “strong, solid figures gaze squarely out of the frame, beseeching readers to listen, empathize and wonder.”

Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle blends songs, flute, and drum to bring the lore of the Choctaw Nation to life in lively historical, personal, and traditional stories.

Artist Jeanne Rorex Bridges traces her heritage back to her Cherokee ancestors.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In a picture book that highlights rarely discussed intersections between Native Americans in the South and African Americans in bondage, a noted Choctaw storyteller and Cherokee artist join forces with stirring results… the story [has a] powerful impact on young readers." —Booklist, starred review

"Crossing Bok Chitto… tells a tale with a happier ending, but its journey is no less a departure from the narrative of American uplift. In literature for children, this is a lesson as old as the Grimms. But these realities cut deeper than any fantasy." —The New York Times

"Tingle is a performing storyteller, and his text has the rhythm and grace of that oral tradition. It will be easily and effectively read aloud. The paintings are dark and solemn, and the artist has done a wonderful job of depicting all of the characters as individuals, with many of them looking out of the page right at readers." —School Library Journal

"A moving and wholly original story about the intersection of cultures…Bridges creates mural-like paintings with a rock-solid spirituality and stripped-down graphic sensibility, the ideal match for the down-to-earth cadences and poetic drama of the text." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Crossing Bok Chitto is very highly recommended for all young readers as a celebration of diversity, acceptance, and unity in a remarkable production of expert authorship and invaluable illustrations." —Midwest Book Review, starred review

"A very moving story about friends helping each other and reveals a lesser-known part of American History: Native Americans helped runaway slaves...While, this is a picture book; it would make a wonderful read-aloud for middle elementary students." —Children's Literature

Publishers Weekly
Bridges, a Cherokee artist making her children's book debut, joins Tingle (Walking the Choctaw Road) in a moving and wholly original story about the intersection of cultures. The river Bok Chitto divides the Choctaw nation from the plantations of Mississippi. "If a slave escaped and made his way across Bok Chitto, the slave was free," writes Tingle, "The slave owner could not follow. That was the law." But Bok Chitto holds a secret: a rock pathway that lies just below the surface of the water. "Only the Choctaws knew it was there, for the Choctaws had built it," Tingle explains. When a slave boy and his family are befriended by a Choctaw girl, the pathway becomes part of an ingenious plan that enables the slaves to cross the river to freedom-in plain view of a band of slave hunters during a full moon. Bridges creates mural-like paintings with a rock-solid spirituality and stripped-down graphic sensibility, the ideal match for the down-to-earth cadences and poetic drama of the text. Many of the illustrations serve essentially as portraits, and they're utterly mesmerizing-strong, solid figures gaze squarely out of the frame, beseeching readers to listen, empathize and wonder. Ages 5-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Box Chitto is the river that cuts through Mississippi and serves as the boundary between the Choctaw Indian nation and the plantation owners and their slaves. Martha Tom, a Choctaw girl, is sent to pick blackberries. Her quest for blackberries leads her to cross Box Chitto. She knows of a stone path just beneath the river's surface. As she discovers blackberries, she also discovers another people living in the woods--the slaves. Little Mo, a slave boy, leads Martha Tom back to the river and learns of her stone path; the two become good friends. When Little Mo's mother is sold and the family fears separation, Little Mo realizes he can help by using the stone path that Martha Tom has shown him. The other Choctaw Indians help lead Little Mo's family across Bok Chitto and keep the guards away by appearing as ghosts. Tom Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, tells a very moving story about friends helping each other and reveals a lesser-known part of American History: Native Americans helped runaway slaves. The muted and soft illustrations done by Jeanne Rorex Bridges, a Cherokee ancestor, fit the story's time and place, particularly the river's muddiness. The notes at the end also provide useful information to learn more about the Native Americans in history and the background of the story. While, this is a picture book; it would make a wonderful read-aloud for middle elementary students. 2006, Cinco Puntos Press, Ages 7 to 10.
—Elizabeth Fronk

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933693200
Publisher:
Cinco Puntos Press
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
265,491
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
7 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle makes his living telling stories and teaching folklore at schools, universities and festivals nationally. The Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers selected Tim as "Contemporary Storyteller of the Year" for 2001. Tim Tingle lives in Canyon Lake, Texas, near San Antonio. Artist Jeanne Rorex Bridges traces her heritage back to her Cherokee ancestors. Born in Oklahoma, her work is nationally known and has won many awards in Native American art shows, including the 2005 Best of Show at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum. Crossing Bok Chitto is her first fully illustrated book.

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Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Narita More than 1 year ago
I just love this book. This book confirms the stories my mother and grand mother use to tell me and my siblings when we were children. The illustrations are fabulous! I want the cover illustration as picture in my hall way to greet visitors go my home. Where can I get one?