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Book Review: Navajo Long Walk

Part 1: The Wonder of the Navajo

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

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Native Americans

Coming soon to your favorite book haunt is a wonderful new book about the Native American experience called Navajo Long Walk. Written by Joseph Bruchac (author of the fun-for-kids Keepers of the Earth and Keepers of the Animals books) and illustrated by Shonto Begay (an accomplished illustrator who has written his own books), this short book packs a powerful historical punch.

It's the story of the forced relocation of the Navajo people in New Mexico Territory in the 1860s.

The story begins with the Navajo story of creation and then fast-forwards to the present of the narrative: the 1850s in what would become the American Southwest. The Navajos are content in their space, despite occasional harrying from other Native American tribes and from Spanish settlers.

Enter the American presence. American soldiers like Kit Carson and General James Carleton made it their passion to mistreat the Navajos as much as possible, abandoning signed treaties, destroying homes and villages, and forcing a proud people to march 470 miles, often freezing and starving, to their new "home."

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Graphics courtesy of National Geographic

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