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To See with the Heart

Overview

Known for his physical courage and skill in battle, Sitting Bull was also a shrewd negotiator and compassionate leader in a period when the Sioux were being driven from their lands by the whites. In this meticulous biography, Sitting Bull is seen as a warrior and family man, a fierce enemy and a dramatic showman, set in the context of his times.
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Overview

Known for his physical courage and skill in battle, Sitting Bull was also a shrewd negotiator and compassionate leader in a period when the Sioux were being driven from their lands by the whites. In this meticulous biography, Sitting Bull is seen as a warrior and family man, a fierce enemy and a dramatic showman, set in the context of his times.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The stiff, stock composition on this book's jacket hides a biography of unusual depth. The life of the Hunkpapa Sioux chief Sitting Bull (1834?-1890) spanned a time of terrible transition for his people. As a young man on the Great Plains, he led raids against traditional enemies. Older, he led his people in resisting white people's incursions and broken promises, and, as the Sioux fought off encroachment sparked by a gold rush in the Black Hills, took part in the Battle of Little Bighorn. But in 1881, he had to "bring in" his last group of followers and surrender with them to the U.S. Army. He died ignominiously in a bungledand unnecessaryarrest. St. George (Crazy Horse), using an archive of interviews with Sitting Bull's contemporaries, attempts to reconstruct in detail the life and character of this great leader. The result reads almost like a novel, but one accurately embedded in the history of the American West. Sitting Bull, reimagined carefully and respectfully, is revealed as a man esteemed not only for his feats in battle, his wisdom and his spiritual strength, but for his generosity and his ability to see "with the eyes in his heart rather than the eyes in his head." Ages 10-14. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Sitting Bull's defeat of Custer is just one episode in the long and eventful life of this courageous and respected leader of the Sioux Indians. St. George treats it as such, giving it only limited space in this biography. The result is a complete portrait of Sitting Bull as son, husband, father, friend, holy man, hunter, and war chief of the Sioux Nation. The author has thoroughly researched her subject. Her use of transcripts of interviews with Sitting Bull's contemporaries available in the Walter S. Campbell Collection, University of Oklahoma, and visits to battlefields and camping grounds in the northern United States and Canada give To See with the Heart an attention to detail and a richness that are not found in other accounts of this man's life. Direct quotes from those who knew him contribute to the book's authenticity, but occasionally make the flow of the text awkward and slow paced. St. George's admiration for Sitting Bull comes across throughout this informative, well-documented, and valuable biography.Carolyn Angus, The Claremont Graduate School, CA
Ilene Cooper
This companion to St. George's "Crazy Horse" (1994) begins with 14-year-old Slow, a Hunkpapa Sioux boy, being told he is too young to fight the Crows. He fights anyway, establishes his status as a warrior, and earns the name Sitting Bull. St. George does a good job of revealing Sitting Bull as a man who is not only a warrior but a chief and holy man as well. This is not just a book about a Sioux hero, however. Sitting Bull lived in a critical period for Native Americans. Settlers were overrunning their lands, the U.S. Army was coming down hard on the Indians, and the Sioux and other tribes were being forced onto reservations. Sitting Bull is shown at the center of all those issues. The profusion of detail, especially in matters of battle, at times slows down the narrative. Also, a glossary and maps would have been helpful. The book does have the advantage of being better written than most series books on Sitting Bull, and it will probably have as much appeal for readers as for report writers.
Kirkus Reviews
Copious research substantiates this biography of Sitting Bull, but St. George (Dear Dr. Bell . . . Your Friend, Helen Keller, 1992, etc.) provides no real sense of the man or why he was considered a great leader.

A labored text reads like a cut-and-paste exercise, a grinding out of fact after fact, without insights to behavior or an analysis of Sitting Bull as a real person. Much is made of Sitting Bull the warrior; nearly 100 pages precede the information that he was also a holy man who directed his life and the lives of the people for whom he was responsible through visions. Sitting Bull's joy in fatherhood is presented as dry fact; readers do not see any expression of the depth of his feelings until two-thirds into the book, when he mourns the death of a child. His noted sense of humor is not in evidence until the last pages of the book, when he tells a reporter that white people are "a great people, as numerous as the flies that follow the buffalo." Some incidents beg for explanation, e.g., young Sitting Bull urges his warriors into battle with the cry, "Saddle up; saddle up! We are going to fight the soldiers again." For those still unenlightened as to the bareback-rider stereotype, this is a startling sentence; without attribution in context or in notes, readers have no way of knowing the source of many quotations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399229305
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/7/1996
  • Pages: 182
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

So You Want to Be President? and the historical Turning Point series, including You're On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt; Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln; and Take the Lead, George Washington. You can visit her online at www.judithstgeorge.com.

Judith St. George has published dozens of successful nonfiction books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning So You Want to Be President? and the historical Turning Point series, including You’re On Your Way, Teddy RooseveltStand Tall, Abe Lincoln; and Take the Lead, George Washington. You can visit her online at www.judithstgeorge.com.

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