Spellbinding descriptions! Sobering information! McCormick's comprehensive history of native American survival is all this and more! In this addition to the American History series, the author focuses on how native Americans have fared and endured the encroachment of white society from the earliest colonial presence to present times. Her entire account is substantiated with authentic documentation and supplemented with pictures, maps, and graphs. Adolescents who know nothing about this group of Americans can read this book and gain an immediate understanding of the situation because McCormick relays her knowledge in such a clear and interesting manner. Opening with a revealing chapter titled This Land Was Their Land, the author looks at the difference between how two groups-one white, one Native American-viewed the notion of land ownership. "European settlers saw the land that Native Americans had kept in its natural state as wild and undeveloped." Since it was not developed, they determined that it was being "wasted," and that the "savages...did not really own or need it." For three centuries, this attitude prevailed and led to the near extinction of not only a people, but also an entire way of life. With heart-wrenching clarity, McCormick tells how the white man's government sometimes coerced and sometimes forced tribes into removing themselves from prime pieces of land. Knowing that white dominance was impending, some Indians tried to assimilate and live like white men. Other Indians left their homelands for the reservations peacefully, while some fought to preserve the only way of life they knew. Powerful excerpts form lawmakers' and Indian chiefs' speeches as well as actual legislation promulgated in the nations capital prove that native Americans had their land, their culture, and their lives stolen from them. McCormick does not have to state this; readers will reach this conclusion after examining the facts. Additionally, the author investigates life on Indian reservations, the education of Native American children, and current Native American policies, problems, and progress. McCormick has written a fantastic, factual account of the Native American struggle for survival. Because of its readability and historical relevance, I would highly recommend this book to all adolescents wanting to learn more about native Americans' past. Index. Photos. Maps. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 5Q 2P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-In this overview, McCormick calmly and clearly presents the history of relationships between Native Americans and white settlers. Sufficient background is provided to enable readers to understand the basics of the situations without becoming bogged down in details. Historical and cultural beliefs and behaviors are presented to help explain why each group acted as it did. The writing is lively and organized efficiently enough to invite and encourage research. The chapters are laced with cited quotations to add perspective and authenticity. The illustrations include reproductions of documents, drawings, paintings, and photographs. Because they are all in black and white and mostly small, they fail to give this book the visual impact it deserves. The author does a superb job of presenting facts and opinions while allowing readers to draw conclusions. Most young people will come away from this volume with a new appreciation of the tribulations of Native Americans, from the U.S. government's establishment of the first official reservation in 1638 to the present day. An excellent addition to round out any collection.-Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS