Heart of a Chief

Heart of a Chief

2.5 2
by Joseph Bruchac
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803722767
Publisher:
Dial
Publication date:
10/01/1998
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed children's book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac's poems, articles and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored many books for adults and children including Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, Skeleton Man, and The Heart of a Chief. For more information about Joseph, please visit his website www.josephbruchac.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Heart of a Chief 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was not looking forward to reading the Heart of the Chief but once I did I loved it. The author did a great job using different figures of speech, anecdotes, character building, and much more. I learned a lot while having a lot of fun reading this book. Now, I am interested in learning more about Native Americans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago