Cover image for A braid of lives : Native American childhood
A braid of lives : Native American childhood
Philip, Neil.
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
iii, 81 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Weaves the testimony of many Native Americans into a single narrative of childhood and growing up.
Reading Level:
880 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.0 2.0 45677.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E98.C5 B73 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E98.C5 B73 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This moving collection of first-person narratives celebrates the individuality and variety of the Native American experience. Men and women representing many Native American groups speak about childhood and growing up--games and rites of passage, education and learning, tradition and change. This companion volume to Neil Philip's acclaimed IN A SACRED MANNER I LIVE is touching and dramatic, easily accessible to young readers, who will identify with its celebration of universal childhood experiences. Introduction, indexes of speakers/writers and Indian nations, suggestions for further reading, source notes.

Author Notes

Neil Philip is a noted folklorist and anthologist who has written several books on Native American and multicultural themes for Clarion, including IN A SACRED MANNER I LIVE, which was named both a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in England.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-8. Drawn from a variety of memoirs and biographies, this collection of childhood stories paints a nuanced picture of growing up Native American. The one-and two-page vignettes represent 20 different tribes (most from western North America) and are organized by theme. The book begins with warm images of children at play, sternly affectionate elders, and favorite pranks. Later the tone darkens as one girl describes a cruel grandmother, and several others recall harsh treatment at the white schools they were forced to attend. Luther Standing Bear's recollection of being made to choose an Anglo name that was then stitched into his shirts is particularly poignant. The book ends on a spiritual note, with tales of powerful visions and dreams. This is an excellent choice for curriculum support and brief read-aloud material; teachers can pair selected passages with traditional nonfiction titles to round out the study of a particular tribe. The selections are indexed by author and tribe, and all have source notes. --Randy Meyer

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4 Up-This enigmatic book presents the remembrances of 33 individuals from 22 different American Indian nations, ranging from anonymous men and women to such well-known figures as Black Elk and Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins. Though the accounts were collected from 30 texts published since the late 1800s, most of them were originally dictated to historians or ethnographers, so the tone is conversational and readable. The black-and-white historical photos were well selected to illuminate the topics discussed or at least the nation of the speaker, and a few portray the speakers themselves. The enigma is the intended audience. Without accompanying background information, these personal stories could only be used as a supplementary resource for students writing reports, but it is unlikely that even middle or high school students would seek out such material. There is no topical index to the stories; there is an index of speakers and another of the Indian nations represented, both of which would facilitate research focusing on specific people or tribes. In the hands of the right teacher, this could be an excellent source for read-aloud material to augment a study unit.-Sean George, St. Charles Parish Library, Luling, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.