Hides Inside is thirteen winters—old enough to yearn to be a warrior. His brother, Standing Tall, has given him the first lesson, “A Cheyenne does not fight his own people.” Not even when other boys taunt him because he cannot speak.
On a dim night during the season of the hard face moon, Hides Inside witnesses the unprovoked attack on the Cheyenne that came to be known as the Sand Creek Massacre. His determination to join a warrior society is hardened, but will he follow Standing Tall in the ways of peace?
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About the Author
She is the author of three works of historical fiction set in the early days of Colorado. Nothing Here but Stones received the WILLA Literary Award from Women Writing the West in 2005. Hard Face Moon was awarded of the CIPA Evvy. Rescue in Poverty Gulch was winner of the CIPA Evvy and finalist for both the Spur Award and Colorado Book Award.
Nancy lives on a working cattle ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The year is 1864, and Chief Black Kettle's band of Cheyenne are asked to move closer to Ft. Lyon on Big Sandy Creek in Colorado Territory. Chief Black Kettle decides to remain peaceful with the whites instead of fighting since he realizes how outnumbered his people are and because the Tsistsistas (Cheyenne) are starving. By being a peaceful tribe, Chief Black Kettle erroneously thinks he is now under the protection of the U. S. Army since he was given an American Flag and some peace medals. Since the Tsistsistas are a warrior society, the Chief's decision is very unpopular with his people, and the Dog Soldier Society vows to keep on fighting the whites for as long as it takes. This fantastically real historical fiction novel by author Nancy Oswald is told through the eyes of thirteen-year-old mute Hides Inside. All he wants to do is become a warrior and hunt and fight in battles. He is unhappy with Black Kettle's decision to remain peaceful - when will he get the chance to prove himself as a young man by counting coups on his enemies in battle if they remain peaceful? His brother, Standing Tall, knows of Hides Inside's feelings, but he is internally battling the hard decision of remaining peaceful and siding with his chief or going against his own tribe with the Dog Soldiers and continue the fighting. He continues training Hides Inside to become a future warrior since that is the way of their people. This is a MUST READ for your older child if you want them to know the truth of the way it was with America's shameful treatment of its Native American population during the Indian War days, and to have them have a good insight into the ways of the Tsistsistas, the Cheyenne people. I give this book a high five for the author's sensitive treatment and deep respect of the Cheyenne side of things, and for her realistic portrayal of the Sand Creek Massacre. I cried as I read it - Nancy's word images were so strong, I felt out of breath as I ran with Hides Inside and his friends after watching their loved ones slaughtered before their young eyes. This is one of those books that is bound to be a classic on the Sand Creek Massacre. Although fictional, Ms. Oswald stuck to the historical facts to bring about this remarkable book. I couldn't put it down - it was riveting. BY: Gayle Jacobson-Huset Stories for Children Magazine
Hard Face Moon
A Boy¿s Fight to Belong
Hides Inside is a thirteen-year-old Cheyenne boy who cannot speak and must sign all communications with others. He is teased and tormented by the other boys and longs to prove himself a warrior and a hunter equal to the big brother of the family who took him in when his parents were killed by the Pawnee. Nothing seems to work out for him and although he tries to be worthy, in the eyes of others, he feels he is a constant failure. On his first hunt, he kills a buffalo calf, but another boy removes Hides Insides¿ lance and inserts his own arrows. His lack of voice often makes it hard to explain his side of the story and so he must accept this, too, as a failure in the eyes of the people.
This story leads the reader up to the Sand Creek Massacre when soldiers come without warning, ignoring the white flag raised to show the Indians¿ willingness to cooperate peacefully. The irony of it is that Black Kettle had moved his people there to be closer to the Fort and so more assured, he thought, of the soldier¿s protection. An interesting, factual story for the young reader, Hard Face Moon is a lesson in cultural differences that often creates such tragedies. Eunice Boeve, author of The Summer of the Crow