Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Reading 2013 Native American Heroes

Ann McGovern's book (previously titled The Defenders), has been updated and will be published on October 29, 2013. In it she tells about the lives of three famous leaders from different Native American tribes who all sought to defend their people's freedom and way of life. Osceola was a Seminole during the 1800s and he fought to prevent the US government from removing his people from their homes in Florida and forcing them to move to reservations out west. Tecumseh was a member of the Shawnee during the American Revolution and the early days of the United States. His tribe fought on the side of the British, hoping to prevent more colonists from moving onto tribal lands and pushing the Native Americans out. The Seminoles also fought on the side of the British during the War of 1812, again hoping that the British would keep Americans from taking their lands. Cochise was an Apache chief from the Chiricahua tribe. He had actually made peace with the white settlers until his tribe was falsely accused of kidnapping a child from a settler's farm. When he tried to meet with an Army officer under a flag of truce to explain the misunderstanding and offer to help look for the kidnapped boy, the officer tried to have Cochise's group arrested. When they ran from the tent to escape, Cochise was shot in the leg, but he managed to make it back to camp. The rest of his group was captured and some of them were executed. That set off the Apache Wars.

The author has included historical photos, other artwork, maps, and quotes from primary source documents to enhance the retelling of these events. This would be a good resource for students or teachers studying Native Americans or famous leaders. It is sad that there are so many stories of mistreatment and deceit between the government and these tribes (and many other tribes, too). The details of what led up to the conflict and what each side did to provoke or try to resolve the fighting are an important part of our history as a country. I would recommend this to all social studies teachers in intermediate or middle school grade levels.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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