Heart of a Chief

Heart of a Chief

2.5 2
by Joseph Bruchac
     
 

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Chris's life is complicated. At school, he's been selected to lead a project on sports teams with Indian names. At home, on the Penacook reservation, the Indians are divided about building a casino. It would destroy the beautiful island Chris thinks of as his own. Is there anything one sixth-grade boy can do?

"Chris's compelling voyage of self-discovery is

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Overview

Chris's life is complicated. At school, he's been selected to lead a project on sports teams with Indian names. At home, on the Penacook reservation, the Indians are divided about building a casino. It would destroy the beautiful island Chris thinks of as his own. Is there anything one sixth-grade boy can do?

"Chris's compelling voyage of self-discovery is grounded in everyday events...allowing readers to see into the heart of this burgeoning chief." -Publishers Weekly

"Readers who see injustice in their own lives will admire how much Chris accomplishes with a simple message of respect." -Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Bruchac explores what it means to be Native American in a modern society through the perceptive first-person narrative of 11-year-old Chris Nicola," said PW. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Chris Nicola, a Penacook Indian youngster, discovers that he possesses the makings of a chief in this heartwarming tale of loyalty and courage. Chris, normally a quiet and shy boy, unwittingly finds himself in the middle of both a tribal conflict regarding the building of a casino on his reservation, and a local debate about the name of the high school mascot. Add to all of this confusion the fact that Chris's father is a recovering alcoholic and his grandfather and great aunt both have failing health, and you'll understand the pressures that are bearing down on Chris. Bruchac's story is told from Chris's point of view, and it is immediately clear that Chris is wise beyond his years, as he stands up to intense peer pressure and family heartache. Bruchac writes with a passion and understanding of life on the reservation and expresses contemporary Native American conflict beautifully through Chris's words and stories. I particularly liked the story of Laughing Louis. While Bruchac definitely has an axe to grind concerning the use of Native American mascots, Chris is never preachy and rarely combative. This would be a particularly useful book for Social Science teachers, as it is easy to read and could be fodder for a number of interesting and evocative discussions regarding the conditions of contemporary Native American society. 2001 (orig. 1998), Puffin/Penguin, Ages 12 up.
—Tom Jones
Children's Literature - Catherine Petrini
"We didn't go away," Chris Nicola tells his sixth-grade class. "They tried to drive us off the land.... But we're still here." Chris, a Penacook Indian, craves the comfort of anonymity among the non-Indian majority at his new school. But even more, he wants people to know that Indians exist beyond stereotypes and history books. Chris's intelligence, passion, and likability make him a natural leader, and he even comes to enjoy his new role at school. Still, he loves his life at home on the reservation, despite its poverty and shattered dreams. He especially loves the island that is the heart of his people, now threatened by a planned casino. Suddenly Chris finds himself at the center of two controversies. At school he sparks a debate on the use of an Indian name for school sports teams, while at home he commits an impulsive act of protest that polarizes the reservation on the casino issue. Can one kid make a difference? To Chris's surprise, the answer is yes. And with a Penacook name that means "bridge," he is the perfect person to bring two cultures together. This latest novel from Joseph Bruchac is a warm, realistic portrayal of a boy who values his people's past while working for a better future. Written with knowledge, insight, and lyricism, it's sure to be an award winner.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141312361
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
08/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
373,836
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.45(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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