Sing Down the Moon

( 63 )

Overview

The Spanish Slavers were an ever-present threat to the Navaho way of life. One lovely spring day, fourteen-year-old Bright Morning and her friend Running Bird took their sheep to pasture. The sky was clear blue against the red buttes of the Canyon de Chelly, and the fields and orchards of the Navahos promised a rich harvest. Bright Morning was happy as she gazed across the beautiful valley that was the home of her tribe. She turned when Black Dog barked, and it was then that she...
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Sing Down the Moon

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Overview

The Spanish Slavers were an ever-present threat to the Navaho way of life. One lovely spring day, fourteen-year-old Bright Morning and her friend Running Bird took their sheep to pasture. The sky was clear blue against the red buttes of the Canyon de Chelly, and the fields and orchards of the Navahos promised a rich harvest. Bright Morning was happy as she gazed across the beautiful valley that was the home of her tribe. She turned when Black Dog barked, and it was then that she saw the Spanish slavers riding straight toward her.

A young Navajo girl recounts the events of 1864 when her tribe was forced to march to Fort Sumner as prisoners of the white soldiers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This resonant Newbery Honor book chronicles the Navajo experience of the 1860s through the eyes of 14-year-old Bright Morning. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"The very simplicity of the writing, at times almost terse, makes more vivid the tragedy of the eviction and the danger and triumph of the return." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Fifteen year old Morning Star and her best friend Running Deer are tending their sheep when they are kidnapped by Spaniards and sold as slaves to wealthy women. Separated from her friend and her Navaho family, Morning Star immediately begins to plot ways to get away. With the help of another young Navaho, she and Running Deer are able to escape and return to their village. On the way, they meet warriors from the village who assist them. Tall Boy, the young warrior Morning Star hopes to marry, is wounded in the conflict and loses the use of one arm. Life in the village is not as they hoped, however, because the villagers are soon driven from their homes by the Long Knives, Americans who are claiming the land. This short novel presents the heart-wrenching story of the Long Walk of 1863 through 1865 as seen through the eyes of a young woman. The Navaho people were driven to Fort Sumner where they were held prisoner for several years. However, Morning Star's story is hopeful. She and her new husband Tall Boy are able to escape and begin a new life near Canyon de Chelly, their original home. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440406730
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/1992
  • Series: Yearling Newbery Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott O’Dell (1898–1989), one of the most respected authors of historical fiction, received the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, and the Hans Christian Andersen Author Medal, the highest international recognition for a body of work by an author of books for young readers. Some of his many books include The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Road to Damietta, Sing Down the Moon, and The Black Pearl.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 63 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    What a wonderful book !

    Sing Down the Moon is a captivating story about a young Navaho girl whom is 15, fighting for her home and the love that she has for the place of where she has lived all her life which is called the Canyon de Chelly. She finds out how people sometimes have to work hard to keep the people and things around them, that they love very dearly. She has got taken from Canyon de Chelly two times but seeing her mind was set and she is a strong girl, she has found her way back home both times. I think that through out this book, it teaches you to never give up. It also sums up the point in which you should never let go of the things you love because if you do, you have to fight hard enough to get the one thing you lost, back.In the start of Sing Down the Moon, you start to get to know the Navaho people and what relationship they have with the ¿long knives¿ which is the name they call white people and their way of living life. Towards the middle of the book, you will read that Bright Morning and one of her friends are invaded and kidnapped by a few Spanish slaves, who sell them at a near by town which is not far from where they live. Bright Morning and her two friends run to escape and were founded by Tall Boy who happens to come across them while he is hunting. People whom are looking for Bright Morning and her friends, accidentally shoot Tall Boy in his shoulder. By the time Bright Morning, her two friends, and Tall Boy arrive back to the village, his health begins to be affected to the point where he loses his arm. This shows that Tall Boy is brave and is willing to be put through anything for his tribe. It gives him more thought in mind to continue thinking of marrying the one girl he crossed while hunting, Bright Morning. A little bit after Bright Morning, her two friends and Tall Boy go back to their homes, the white people in which they call ¿long knives,¿ make all of the Navahos tribe flee from their land and force them to live in valleys outside of Fort Sumner. The Navahos were viewed wrongly from the Apaches because their was being invaded from The Navahos and it caused many problems between the two tribes. Tall Boy has now became Bright Morning¿s husband whom ended is his imprisonment at the fort under other tribe members false thoughts and opinions. He soon after escapes so he can complete his wives wishes and fulfill her hopes of his coming back home. As they begin to continue their adventure together, Bright Morning has her baby boy while continuing her way back home to Canyon de Chelly. By the end of this book, Bright Morning arrives home safe and secure with nothing wrong, and she figures out that she has complete her goals for her life. This is a very good book and I wouldn¿t have mind reading the entire thing. Seeing I don¿t have this book I have done research and found as much as I could on the book. I have learned just from breaking the book down, that it is better to never let something you love go, because you never know if it will come back or not. I feel you must follow your heart and mind to get places in life.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Maya Cook

    This is one of the best books I have ever read! This is a must read!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2007

    amazing

    this book is an amazing book. If you havent read it you should i rate it 5 out of 5

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2006

    This is a great book to read

    I read this book when I was in the sixth grade. I loved this book. But my opinion may be viewed as bias .. I am native american and my mother is navajo.So I am aware of what my people had to go through. I enjoyed this book. For the historical aspect of the.I enjoyed the character bright morning because of her detemination to return to her people and her way of life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    A true ckasic

    I am a 10 year old boy in the ton pf gooding idaho an

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Awesome

    The story is amazning. I wold read over again. The best

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    To scott o dell

    I love your stories especialy island of the blue dolphin

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Sing doe Sing down the moon

    500 stars if i could

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2005

    wakka wakka

    Scott O'Dell is a greatly popular youth author. O'Dell is perhaps best known for such award winning classics as The Black Pearl and Island of the Blue Dolphins, but one of his greatest books has to be Sing Down the Moon. As with his other works, O'Dell clearly did a great deal of study and research before sitting down to write this book. From the calm blue smoke rising from the Hogan's on the floor of Canyon de Chelly to the cold gray walls of the fort at Bosque Redondo, the reader sees the colors of the world and feels the emotions of a people through the eyes of a young fourteen-year-old Navajo girl named Bright Morning.Through Bright Morning we are able to experience the daily longings of a young girl growing up like any other. We feel her intimate relationships with friends, her crush on a young aspiring warrior, and the mistrust surrounding the Long Knives, who come with their rifles and white teeth. Her life seems so uncertain yet normal, until the day she is captured by Spaniards stolen for slavery. It is among this adversity and danger that the resilient, long suffering and boundless character of her people begins to surface in Bright Morning. Fear and sorrow are overcome by a determined courage and her desire for freedom. It seems that escape from one dilemma only leads to an alternate one. The reader experiences the ever-present pressure and danger faced by the Navajo people and other native peoples of this time period. Through the story's characters, we experience a wide range of emotions. We sense the stubborn pride of Tall Boy and the tremendous importance of maintaining honor. We see the wisdom of elders who want the best for their people, and their sorrow when stripped of their power. We also witness the demeaning cruelty of the white soldiers and the hypocrisy of the Spaniard thieves. Contained in Bright Morning is all that makes us mourn this period in human history, yet in her story we also find that which causes us to hope. We see the ugly face of conquest, evil and power yet we also hear the still stronger voice of liberty and inner freedom. A helpless 14-year-old girl can be taken from her home, from her people, and can be forced into grueling labor, but the spark of inner freedom belongs to her and no one else. Though it is at times dimmed, it does not go out. It burns in her and drives her, constantly seeking to regain her freedom and to return home. How many of us can relate to her longing for freedom, peace, and the memory of a better time? In Bright Morning we find inspiration and hope. We are reminded that though external forces may seek to destroy our very will to live, yet our remaining freedoms do give us the willpower to go on.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2004

    A Great Book!

    Sing Down the Moon Sing Down the Moon is a captivating story about a young Navaho girl fighting for her home! We are introduced to Bright Morning, who is fifteen, and her love of where she has lived all her life, the Canyon de Chelly. She soon discovers how hard people sometimes have to work to keep the things they love. Twice she is taken from her home, but through determination and strength finds a way back. To me this book is a picture of perseverance and never giving up. I think you will see why!<p> In the beginning of this book you become familiar with the Navaho people, their relationship with 'the long knives' (what they called white people) and their lifestyle. About halfway through the book Bright Morning and her friend are kidnapped by Spanish slavers and sold at a town a few days ride from where they live. Bright Morning, along with two friends escapes, and is found by Tall Boy (her betrothed) who is hunting. A brush with the search party ends with a shot in Tall Boy¿s shoulder. By the time they reach their village Tall Boy's health has been dramatically affected by the shot and he ends up losing the use of his arm. This lessens his usefulness as a young man in the tribe and his chances of marrying Bright Morning.<p> Soon after their return home the 'long knives' force all the Navahos from their land to live in a valley outside of Fort Sumner. There were already several hundred Apache Indians living at the Bosque Redondo. These Apaches viewed the Navahos as invaders on their land; which resulted in many conflicts between the two tribes. One involving Tall Boy, now Bright Morning's husband, ended in his imprisonment at the fort under false accusations. He finds a way to escape and fulfills Bright Morning¿s wish of returning home! On the way back to the Canyon de Chelly her son is born! The book ends with their return home and the triumph of Bright Morning as she finally achieves her goal!<p> The author, Scott O'Dell, has written many other books about Indians and American history. One of his most popular is Island of the Blue Dolphins. He does an excellent job of portraying Native American culture, its good points along with the bad. In addition as doing all this he has a way of drawing the reader into the story and making them feel like they are a part of it!<p> Sing Down the Moon was a truly enjoyable read for me! I learned a great deal from this book and retained much of the information. To me this book truly proves the saying ¿where there is a will there is a way¿. Bright Morning shows true character and strength in her trials, painting a beautiful picture of fortitude. Although Sing Down the Moon may appeal more girls than boys, I would recommend it to anyone!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    Agdolllover18

    THIS BOOK IS SOOO GOOD!!!!!!! I got this on a friday an finished it sunday, and im reading it all over!! WARNIG: SPOILER ALERT: my favorite part is when the Nez perz girl looks up and stares like to say " Run, run they'll kill you" ahh best part. GET THE BOOK!!! You won't regret it. It is so worth 6.49. Also please subcribe to theis people on youtube:
    Basimentos
    Fivedollstars
    Coolricebunnys (she does polymer clay)
    Girloftheyearstudios
    And smosh

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Zero stars if I could

    Very dissapointing.Horrible

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2013

    It is 1863 and fourteen-year-old Bright Morning is a Navaho girl

    It is 1863 and fourteen-year-old Bright Morning is a Navaho girl living with her father, mother, and older sister Lapana in a village in the Canyon de Chelly, surrounded by mesas in what is now northeastern Arizona. Her brother had been killed by lightning. Her friends are White Deer and Running Bird, and she is sweet on the young warrior Tall Boy. One spring day, Bright Morning and Running Bird take their sheep to pasture on the mesa. Bright Morning’s black dog barks, and that is when she sees the shadows of the two Spanish slavers who kidnap her and Running Bird to be servants in a Mexican town. After a time, with the help of another slave girl named Nahana, they escape and though pursued are rescued by Tall Boy, who is unfortunately shot but survives.

    However, not long after their return, the Long Knives (U. S. Army soldiers) force all the Navaho on “The Long Walk” into exile at Ft. Sumner in New Mexico, after destroying their homes, crops, and livestock. Many of the Navaho die. Bright Morning and Tall Boy, who has lost the use of his right arm due to his injury, get married, but what will happen to them and their new baby? Scott O’Dell was a great author who wrote some wonderful historical fiction such as Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day. Sing Down the Moon was a Newbery Honor book in 1971. My first reaction to the book is, “Oh, another story that emphasizes how badly the whites treated the Indians.” Yes, I know that many white people treated many Indian people badly. I also know that many Indians treated white people who simply wanted to live in peace badly too. In fact, O’Dell points out with fairness, “…Many treaties were made between the Navahos and the United States. Most of them were broken, some by whites, some by the Indians.”

    Interestingly enough, as I was reading, I was thinking how the Democrats like to portray themselves as being for all oppressed people and Republicans as being oppressors, but they have their Jefferson and Jackson Day dinners to honor one of their heroes, Andrew Jackson, and his was one of the most anti-Indian administrations in our nation’s history leading to the Trail of Tears (1831-1838), whereas it was the Republican Ulysses S. Grant who tried to change federal Indian policy and make it more humane, although there is probably enough blame to go around for both parties. Back to the book, it is a well-crafted and exciting story, in which the Navaho also hear about the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado. All this certainly reminds us that there are some tragic incidents in our country’s past which, thankfully, all right-thinking people have come to regret, and O’Dell tells about this one nicely in a sympathetic way. Of course, mention is made of “the gods” worshipped by the Navaho, and several references to killings and deaths occur. Indeed, there is a pervasive sense of sorrow that permeates the entire plot, but it does end on a somewhat hopeful note. It is especially recommended for those who are interested in Southwestern Native American history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Anonymous

    This a great book that tells you what Navajo native americans may have faced. It's a great realistic fiction book.
    We read this in my class, and it kept us turning to the very end. We could feel the different emotions Bright Morning felt, from happiness, grief, worry, and relief. This is a must read for people of all ages!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    #YOLO

    u guys better shut up becuz dis is a great book and thoose who sed its bad go to a medication center

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    iGeek@Back in the day....

    1. How do you get it to say iGeek (or whatever) instead of Anonomous?!?!
    2. Me too...except instead of 'Back in the day' it's now.
    -Alina Woods, age 11

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Ok, I guess.

    I'm reading this book for the comprehension part of our grade at school. So far it's been ok, but the beginning was a bore

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Idk

    Idk i have been reading it until chapter 14 and the last few chapters were interesting but i keep thinking for some reason that the next chapters are gonna be boring.....:(

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Abby

    I love the book so far! The book is full of adventure,love, and jokes that will make you want to keep on reading. I reccomend this book to all young readers (Who won't be scared of violence) to read this wittingly clever book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Sarinasaur

    Im reading this book in school and its great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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