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The Lost Ones
     

The Lost Ones

by Michaela MacColl
 

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Despite her father’s warnings that their tribe is always in danger, Casita, a ten-year-old Lipan Apache girl, has led a relatively peaceful life with her tribe in Mexico, doing her daily chores and practicing for her upcoming Changing Woman ceremony, in which she will officially become a woman of the tribe. But the peace is shattered when the U.S. Cavalry

Overview


Despite her father’s warnings that their tribe is always in danger, Casita, a ten-year-old Lipan Apache girl, has led a relatively peaceful life with her tribe in Mexico, doing her daily chores and practicing for her upcoming Changing Woman ceremony, in which she will officially become a woman of the tribe. But the peace is shattered when the U.S. Cavalry invades and brutally slaughters her people. Casita and her younger brother survive the attack, but are taken captive and sent to the Carlisle Indian School, a Pennsylvania boarding school that specializes in assimilating Native Americans into white American culture. Casita grieves for her lost family as she struggles to find a way to maintain her identity as a Lipan Apache and survive at the school. Includes author’s note and bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
01/01/2017
Gr 4–7—The real-life drama of 12-year-old Casita and her younger brother Jack is the premise of this historical fiction novel about Lipan Apache children adapting to life at the Carlisle Indian School. It opens with a gratuitously graphic raid by the U.S. calvary on the young protagonist's village, during which her mother is murdered. The incident is reminiscent of a similar scene from the Newbery Award-winning book Matchlock Gun (1938), in which American Indians attack white settlers. Unfortunately, the author's descriptions of the two main Native children often borrow heavily from stereotypical depictions from that same era. The captured children are transported east to live on a military base in the care of a childless Quaker woman and her lieutenant officer husband. The couple accept the responsibility of "civilizing" Casita and Jack. The narrative consistently uses phrases that imbue the children with animal-like qualities. Further playing into troublesome stereotypes about Native people, the terms fierce and warrior are used to describe Jack, a little boy who is about eight years old. Also disturbing is Jack's elation at being called a "mascot." Though the author consulted with Native readers, she nevertheless projects a nonindigenous point of view, manifested most obviously in how the children think and why they react as they do in certain situations. VERDICT The complexities of Native cultures and the realities of the history of residential schools deserve to be addressed by someone with a deep and suitable knowledge of Apache culture. Not recommended.—Naomi Caldwell, Alabama State University, Montgomery
Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-02
In 1877 the 4th U.S. Cavalry was ordered to annihilate the Indian problem in Texas.As Ndé/Lipan Apache protagonist Casita and her mother discuss her Changing Woman ceremony, the cavalry attacks her village, massacring most, including Casita’s mother. Taken with her younger brother and other survivors to Fort Clark, Casita hides how she has learned English while traveling with her father until a white Quaker nurse, Mollie Smith, earns her trust. Considered prisoners of war by the Army, the children live with the nurse and her lieutenant husband as servants. Jack is delighted to train the soldiers’ horses and pleased to be called their “mascot.” After three years at the fort, the children are all transferred to the Carlisle Indian School. While there, Jack excels and later is adopted by one of the white teachers, but Casita remains and, with her Apache girlfriends, defiantly re-enacts the Ndé Changing Woman ceremony to honor lost traditions. Though evidently approved by two Native elders—a relative of the real-life Casita supplies an afterword—much of MacColl’s book is problematic for today’s readers. Jack’s pleasure at being named mascot feels very out of touch with current campaigns to eliminate Indian mascots, and calling the Changing Woman deity a “goddess” forces Ndé cosmology into Western structures. Furthermore, perhaps out of an overabundance of sensitivity to middle-grade readers, MacColl downplays the Carlisle School experience, a well-documented historic trauma. Misses the cultural mark. (author’s note, photos, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620916254
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
10/11/2016
Series:
Hidden Histories Series
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
398,721
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Lexile:
610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Michaela MacColl is the award-winning writer of several historical fiction novels, including Always Emily, Nobody’s Secret, Prisoners in the Palace, and Promise the Night, and the co-author of Rory’s Promise and Freedom’s Price. She has degrees in multidisciplinary history from Vassar College and Yale University. She and her family live in Westport, Connecticut. michaelamaccoll.com

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