Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Between Earth & Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places

Between Earth & Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places

by Joseph Bruchac, Thomas Locker (Illustrator)

See All Formats & Editions

The silent stories of our ancient land and its native peoples are given voice in reverential prose poems and radiant paintings.


The silent stories of our ancient land and its native peoples are given voice in reverential prose poems and radiant paintings.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An excellent choice that will provoke both introspection and discussion.”—The Horn Book
“Offers readers new perspectives on the natural world and an excellent curricular connection. A solid addition for school and public libraries.”—Booklist
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
More than a guide to places sacred to Native Americans, this reverent book prompts readers to look within themselves to find the hallowed ground that "sets our sprits on the right path." While visiting ancestral land, a Native American man shares with his nephew 10 legends of sacred places from all Seven Directions: East, North, West, South-and Above, Below, Within. From the North, Seneca lore about Ne-ah-ga (Niagara Falls) teaches that "every gift we give/ gives us back a blessing"; from Above comes a confusingly rendered Cheyenne tale about the Rocky Mountains-the only stumbling block among the fables, otherwise gracefully compressed into unrhymed verse. Locker's (Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back) traditional oil paintings, alternating between ethereal illuminations and atmospheric veils, capture the natural splendor of their subjects while retaining the hushed quality of the text. All ages. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6Bruchac frames 11 legends of Native American sacred places with a conversation between Little Turtle and his uncle, Old Bear, who says, " `There are sacred places all around us...They are found in the East and in the North, in the South and in the West, as well as Above, Below, and the place Within. Without those places we lose our balance.' " Bruchac writes in language that is dignified and almost poetic in its simplicity. The text is printed in stanzas, enhancing the image of prose poems. Each legend is related to one of the seven directions and is attributed to a specific people. There is a brief pronunciation guide and a map showing the general location of different Native American groups, but no other documentation is provided. Glossy, cream-yellow paper; clear, black type with the first letter on each page done in flowing, yet restrained, red calligraphy; and lush art make this a book that is pleasing to the eye. Locker's landscape paintings are done in the tradition of Constable's work, concentrating on conditions of sky, atmosphere, and light rather than physical details. His colors, veering toward the day-glow intensity of Maxfield Parrish's work, infuse the scenes with the intangible presence of the sacred. It is difficult to convey the beliefs of an entire people in one brief legend divorced from the rest of their tradition, yet these selections point to the richness possible in looking at the Earth in a spiritual way.Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Kirkus Reviews
From the creators of The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet (1995), philosophical free-verse legends about (and portraits of) places across the US and the native people who hold them sacred.

Little Turtle asks his uncle, Old Bear, about the existence and meaning of sacred places; Old Bear's answer is a procession of legends, each accompanied by a full-page painting. Each tale is colorful, if stiff; each contains an ethical point; each represents a direction or an aspect of direction by which people locate themselves in physical and spiritual landscapes: east, west, north, south, center, above, below, balance lost, and balance held. The superfluous framework of the uncle and nephew's conversation includes a throwaway reference to a powwow they'll be attending later that day; much of what Old Bear conveys in these scenes is also covered by Bruchac in an author's note that precedes them. In fact, the frame (and Old Bear's overarching first-person presence in the legends) distances readers, creating a gap that the real beckoning treasures of this book—the tales themselves and Locker's monumental oil landscapes—cannot bridge.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.10(d)
AD780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

JOSEPH BRUCHAC is a poet, storyteller, and author of more than sixty books for children and adults who has received many literary honors, including the American Book Award and the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. He is of Abenaki and Slovak heritage, and lives in Greenfield Center, New York.

THOMAS LOCKER has written and illustrated many award-winning books for children, including the companion titles Water Dance and Mountain Dance. He lives in Stuyvesant, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews