166. If You Lived with the Sioux Indians

If You Lived with the Sioux Indians by Ann McGovern
Illustrated by Jean Syverud Drew

Pages: 76
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sep.11, 2009
First Published: 1974, updated 2006
Genre: children, non-fiction, history
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:

Indians were the first people to live in what is now the United States.

Reason for Reading: I read this aloud as part of our history curriculum this past year.

Comments: Presented in a Question and Answer format this book focuses on the daily life of the Sioux Indians in the years 1800 to 1850 after the white had arrived but before they had fully settled in the west. These are the years in which the Indians rode the prairies on the horses introduced to the New World by the white man. As with previous books in this series (here and here) that we have read the information is very interesting; dealing with every day life aspects of the Indians such as food, clothing, living arrangements, differences of expectations between men and women/boys and girls, how children played, religious beliefs, hunting and so on.

Originally written in the 1970's this book has been "updated" for the 2000's. No specifics are given other than the new illustrations were added in 1992. The whole book deals with Indian life excluding any contact with the white man until the final chapter which asks "What happened to the Sioux when the white people came?". The answer is all gloom and doom making statements with no explanations. I did read this part but changed the PC language and adding explanations myself after each statement. The book ends with an author's note about the Sioux Indians of today and is written with a set political agenda. This I do not appreciate, whether I agree with the author or not. Children's books are not the place for an author to tell what he/she thinks the government "must" do, unless that is the book's focus and topic to begin with. I did not read this section aloud. The illustrations are standard fare and nothing much to mention.

Overall, we were pleased with book, as we have been with other Indian books in this series. The Q&A format works very well for reading aloud and the text is written in an engaging voice. They are very informative and by reading a few of these books, it is a great way to see the vast differences in various Indian tribes.

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