136. The Trail of Tears

The Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac
illustrated by Diana Magnuson
Step into Reading, Step 5

Pages: 48
Ages: 7-11
Finished: Jul. 23 2009
First Published: 1999
Genre: children, non-fiction, US history
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:

It is October 1, 1838.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to the 9yo as part of our history curriculum.

Comments: Tells the story of the Cherokee Nation's forced move from the East to West by the United States Government. A short, yet well-written narrative tale of the famous tragic events now known as "The Trail of Tears". Hardships are not watered down but are kept to appropriate language for young readers. The story is told in a very even-handed presentation. Surprisingly so, actually. Events are told as they unfolded, naming both whites and Indians who played a part in signing documents to force the move eastward. The events leading up to, the journey itself and the aftermath are all discussed. With the final chapter discussing the determined spirit of the Cherokees and the new Nation they built for themselves and the current thriving businesses, schools and tribal government. Interesting, well-told story of a shameful event in US History told with in a sympathetic yet unbiased format. Perfect introduction for children to the topic.

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