Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Reading Corner: Observe Thanksgiving with Native American Stories

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Reading Corner: Observe Thanksgiving with Native American Stories

Article excerpt

The November calendar celebrates National American Indian Heritage Month and the Thanksgiving holiday, so now is a fitting time to introduce the family to the prolific author, Joseph Bruchac. An award-winning poet and storyteller of 120 works for children and adults from upstate New York, he draws upon his family's Abenaki ancestry to bring to life stories centering on Native Americans.

His celebrated works bring the oral traditions of the people of the Northeastern Woodlands to life in images and word, including his PathFinders series with Native American characters. Sharp cultural accuracy engages readers.

Bruchac has traveled the world performing and sharing traditional cultures and music. He visited St. Louis earlier this month for the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention. The abundance of his work allows a variety of books he has authored to be available at local libraries. These popular ones are found on shelves of the St. Louis Public Library. Check out other libraries for more titles by Bruchac which vary in appeal by age.

Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving is distinct from most similarly themed books because it centers on a person of native Patuxet heritage, namely Tisquantum, known as Squanto. Bruchac draws from history to share this story from Squanto's perspective of abduction into slavery, then his escape from Spain. Encountering the Pilgrims, he significantly influenced the survival of the Plymouth Colony upon his return to a land much changed since he was carried away.

In The Long Run, character Travis Hawk travels across the country on a journey of discovery. He feels urged to escape life with his father, who is navigating alcoholism in the wake of the death of Travis' mother.

The real "long run" for Travis is not just about a love of running, which he describes as "the one thing I can do. …

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