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Children's LiteratureIn this clear and well-illustrated biography, a Shawnee Native American leader's life is explored. Born in the late 1700s, his name means "shooting Star' in Shawnee. As many other tribes, the Shawnees had to fight soldiers to keep their lands. Tecumseh lived in the Northwest Territory which is now called Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. At age of fourteen, Tecumseh went on a vision quest which would help him find his own personal guardian spirit. This spirit gave him a lifetime of protection and strength, but it did not keep the U.S. Government from taking away his lands. Tecumseh lost his father and brother in battles against the soldiers. Tecumseh wanted to settle things peacefully, and he tried to have peace talks with the government, but they failed. In the early 1800s, the Shawnees faced starvation due to damaged crops and illness brought by white settlers who came into their villages. Tecumseh wanted to live a peaceful life, and he began to work toward a union of Native American nations. Governor Harrison (and eventual president of the U.S.) felt threatened by Tecumseh's plan and a battle ensued which became known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. Tecumseh's village was burned and destroyed. His dream of an alliance of nations ended with this battle. Tecumseh fought until his death in 1813 in the Battle of the Thames in Canada. He is remembered and honored as a hero. Color and black and white photographs and drawings accompany the text as well as a timeline, further reading, and websites. 2004, Lerner Publications Company, Ages 8 to 12.
—Della A. Yannuzzi