The Boy Who Made Dragonfly: A Zuni Myth

Overview

As readers of Tony Hillerman's detective novels know, he is a skilled interpreter of southwestern Indian cultures. In this book, first published in 1972 and now in paperback, he recounts a Zuni myth first recorded a century ago by the anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing. Hillerman's version of the story, written to be read by children ten years old and up, will have equal appeal for adults with an interest in Native American culture.

"In our society," Hillerman explains, "this would be called a 'Bible story. ...

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Overview

As readers of Tony Hillerman's detective novels know, he is a skilled interpreter of southwestern Indian cultures. In this book, first published in 1972 and now in paperback, he recounts a Zuni myth first recorded a century ago by the anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing. Hillerman's version of the story, written to be read by children ten years old and up, will have equal appeal for adults with an interest in Native American culture.

"In our society," Hillerman explains, "this would be called a 'Bible story. Like stories based on the Old Testament, this narrative is intended to teach both the history and morality of a people." It tells the consequences of a drought in which the Zuni crops were ruined and the tribe was forced to accept charity from the neighboring Hopis.

Retells a Zuäni myth in which a young boy and his sister gain the wisdom that makes them leaders of their people through the intercession of a dragonfly.

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Editorial Reviews

The Monitor
Although this book is an excellent one for children of all ages, it should not be reserved solely for them. An impressive work . . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826309105
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Pages: 81
  • Sales rank: 964,928
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 1090L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman (1925-2008), an Edgar Award-winning novelist, was best known for the Jim Chee Mystery series, which earned him the Navajo people's appreciation as "special friend to the Dineh." A former reporter and newspaper editor, Hillerman was a member of the journalism faculty at the University of New Mexico from 1965-1987. He served as chairman of the journalism department from 1966-1974.

Biography

Tony Hillerman (1925-2008), an Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident since 1963, was the author of 29 books, including the popular 17-mystery series featuring Navajo police officers Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, two non-series novels, two children's books, and nonfiction works. He had received every major honor for mystery fiction; awards ranging from the Navajo Tribal Council's commendation to France's esteemed Grand prix de litterature policiere. Western Writers of America honored him with the Wister Award for Lifetime achievement in 2008. He served as president of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America, and was honored with that group's Edgar Award and as one of mystery fiction's Grand Masters. In 2001, his memoir, Seldom Disappointed, won both the Anthony and Agatha Awards for best nonfiction.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

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    1. Hometown:
      Albuquerque, New Mexico
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 27, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sacred Heart, Oklahoma
    1. Date of Death:
      October 26, 2008
    2. Place of Death:
      Albuquerque, New Mexico

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