Cover image for Pushing up the sky : seven native American plays for children
Pushing up the sky : seven native American plays for children
Bruchac, Joseph, 1942-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2000]

Physical Description:
94 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm
Uses drama to tell seven different stories from Native American traditions including the Abenaki, Ojibway, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Snohomish, Tlingit, and Zuni.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3552.R794 P87 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS3552.R794 P87 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3552.R794 P87 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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From acclaimed Native American storyteller Joseph Bruchac comes a collection of seven lively plays for children to perform, each one adapted from a different traditional Native tale. Filled with heroes and tricksters, comedy and drama, these entertaining plays are a wonderful way to bring Native cultures to life for young people. Each play has multiple parts that can be adjusted to suit the size of a particular group and includes simple, informative suggestions for props, scenery, and costumes that children can help to create. Introductory notes and beautiful, detailed illustrations add to young readers' understanding of the seven Native nations whose traditions have inspired the plays.

Author Notes

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed children's book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac's poems, articles and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored many books for adults and children including Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two , Skeleton Man , and The Heart of a Chief . For more information about Joseph, please visit his website

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-6. Bruchac adapts seven traditional tales from various tribes into plays for children. Each play is introduced with a brief tribal background, a list of characters, suggestions for props and scenery, and recommended costumes. Representing tribes from Bruchac's own Abenaki to the Cherokee, Tlingit, and Zuni, the plays are mostly pourquoi tales, explaining how mosquitos came into the world or why stars are visible at night. Black-and-white drawings, contributed by Teresa Flavin, suggest backdrops and enhance the reader's enjoyment. Easily modified for various numbers of children, and easily produced with everyday materials, these plays offer an excellent extension of American Indian studies for elementary students as well as models for student writing. Performance and photocopying rights are granted for school and home performances as long as no admittance fees are charged. --Karen Hutt

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Anyone looking for an unusual way to introduce Native American cultures and stories might try this collection. The scripts are based on tales from the Abenaki, Ojibway, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Snohomish, Tlingit, and Zuni and are accompanied by brief introductions to each tribe and its culture. Many Native words and phrases are included in the dialogues, along with helpful pronunciations. The short, simple scripts are accessible to young, inexperienced actors. The casts include speaking and nonspeaking parts that can be adjusted to group needs. Suggestions are given for easy-to-make costumes, props, and scenery. A variety of pen-and-ink drawings illustrate the plays, as well as one lively gouache illustration per selection. Through color and style, the paintings reflect the regions and cultures of the tribes and add to readers' appreciation and understanding of the atmosphere and setting.-Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.