Paiute Princess: The Story of Sarah Winnemucca

Paiute Princess: The Story of Sarah Winnemucca

by Deborah Kogan Ray
     
 

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Born into the Northern Paiute tribe of Nevada in 1844, Sarah Winnemucca straddled two cultures: the traditional life of her people, and the modern ways of her grandfather's white friends. Sarah was smart and good at languages, so she was able to link the worlds. As she became older, this made her a great leader. Sarah used condemning letters, fiery speeches,

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Overview

Born into the Northern Paiute tribe of Nevada in 1844, Sarah Winnemucca straddled two cultures: the traditional life of her people, and the modern ways of her grandfather's white friends. Sarah was smart and good at languages, so she was able to link the worlds. As she became older, this made her a great leader. Sarah used condemning letters, fiery speeches, and her autobiography, Life Among the Piutes, to provide detailed accounts of her people's turmoil through years of starvation, unjust relocations, and violent attacks. With sweeping illustrations and extensive backmatter, including hand-drawn maps, a chronology, archival photographs, an author's notes, and additional resource information, Deborah Kogan Ray offers a remarkable look at an underrepresented historical figure.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pulling from rich source materials and including selections from Thocmetony Winnemucca’s writings, Ray honors the remarkable Native American activist from the Paiute tribe of Nevada. When white settlers colonize Paiute land, Winnemucca’s grandfather, Chief Truckee, advocates for her to learn English and white customs. But as Paiute people are massacred and forced onto reservations, Winnemucca (1844–1891) uses her skills as an orator, writer, and dramatic performer to spread awareness about the unjust treatment of natives. Powerful language and blazing orange, earth, and jewel-toned chalk drawings create a stirring testament to one individual’s conviction. Ages 8–up. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
In this biography Ray turns her interest in the natural history of the American West to present a clear, well written biography of Sarah Winnemucca—a remarkable Native American woman who devoted her life to bringing justice and education to her Paiute People. Granddaughter of the Paiute chief Truckee, Sarah was fluent in English and Spanish as well as her native Paiute. Even more significantly she was literate. Not only was she the first Native American woman to write her autobiography, she also was a gifted speaker who toured the US calling attention to the terrible injustices and privations visited upon her people. Ray brings this passionate and inspiring and little known figure to life very effectively. The text is well written and organized, including quotations from Winnemucca's own words. Written at a middle school reading level, this book is just right for the way interest in biography often kicks in around age ten. Ray breaks up the extensive text with striking amber toned illustrations done in colored pencil. The final seven pages provide maps, photos and other documentation of the Paiute experience. This is an excellent resource for classroom projects studying Native American life as well as social justice themes as well as for young women looking for role models. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Ray's powerful picture-book biography vividly depicts the life of a Native American woman whose efforts to seek justice for the Paiute tribe deserve greater attention. Born in 1844 in present-day Nevada, Winnemucca found that her tribe's traditional way of life was in danger of disappearing under the onslaught of settlers, miners, railroad workers, and ranchers descending upon the American West. Organized chronologically, the book depicts her journey as she became "a child of two worlds": she had a rare opportunity to experience and appreciate white culture and to learn English, but continued to cherish her heritage and resisted the brutality and oppression visited upon her tribe by the burgeoning reservation system. Winnemucca's unusual upbringing contributed to her varied achievements as an adult. Ray covers her accomplishments as a performer, interpreter and scout for the U.S. Army, educator, and spokesperson and activist, highlighting particularly dramatic moments with expressive, poignant illustrations. Well-chosen quotations from Winnemucca's autobiography, the first written by a Native American woman in English, allow her own voice to drive the narrative and bring "Princess Sarah" to life. Detailed back matter makes it clear that Ray chose to end the book on a hopeful note that may be most appropriate for the intended audience, but does not portray the despair Winnemucca felt at the end of her life. An essential purchase, providing a new perspective on westward expansion and insight into the life of an inspiring but little-known civil rights crusader.—Kate Hewitt, Far Brook School, Short Hills, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Sarah Winnemucca's fearless determination along with her talent for languages and her commitment to education for her people made her a striking spokesperson, lecturer and educator. Ray's biography encompasses Winnemucca's life from childhood through her work with the Peabody School she founded in 1885 in Lovelock, Nev. The heartbreak and challenges Sarah's Paiute people experienced as gold and silver mining brought English-speaking settlers in droves to the Great Basin of Utah, Nevada and California form the core of the narrative. A picture-book trim size allows for substantial blocks of text to accompany Ray's luminous full-page paintings, each focusing on a chapter of Winnemucca's life. Quotations from Winnemucca's autobiography as well as from other contemporary writings augment the account. Extensive backmatter offers more information about Winnemucca's life (Ray explains that the term "princess" was conferred by white journalists) and her people, extending the range for this work well into middle school. The lack of page numbers or index is a slight problem for navigating back through the work, but the clarity of the narrative will make this an excellent read-aloud for older listeners. A compelling introduction to an extraordinary leader. (author's note, map, timeline, bibliography) (Biography. 9-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374398972
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
1,329,409
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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