Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Review of "Little Sioux Girl," by Lois Lenski, a book in the Roundabout America Series

 Review of

Little Sioux Girl, by Lois Lenski, a book in the Roundabout America Series

Five out of five stars

A book based on a real place and people.

Published in 1958, this short book for young adults is about Eva White Bird, a girl living in the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. She lives in a small village where there is a church, school, a house for the schoolteacher and a dozen log cabins. While the residents raise and gather a great deal of their food, there are times when they must travel to the nearest town in order to acquire necessary supplies. That is not always possible, for the road is often impassible. There are few amenities, so their living condition can be described as “primitive.”

 The people in the small village winter in their cabins but travel to other cabins along the edge of the river for the summer. It is cooler there and there is plenty of wild berries and other things to gather. The Native Americans are very familiar with what is edible and how to store it for the winter.

 Although the people would be described as poor and living in primitive conditions, they generally are happy. While they have to work, the children are often free to roam and have the whole outdoors to swim, run and otherwise burn off their youthful energy.

 The location described in this book was an actual place in the Standing Rock Reservation visited by the author in 1950. By the time this book was published, the village was abandoned. She describes the life of the people in the village, what they do, how they live and some of the difficulties they faced. In the middle to late fifties, the local small school buildings were lost to consolidation. While that made economic sense, when great distances are involved, it also meant the death of the small villages.  

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