Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review : Runs with Courage

This book couldn't be more timely. I know this has little to do with the actual book, no actually it has a lot to do with it. If you have not heard about the standing rock pipeline protest, I encourage you to read about it here, if this book upset you, the treatment of the protesters by the officers will enrage you.  Click here to sign a petition to bring an end to all the madness

Runs with Courage by Joan M. Wolf follows a little girl named Four Winds. She is a young Lakota girl that has never seen a white person before, her family was moved to a reservation which is slowly killing her tribe. She will soon meet white people when she is taken against her will to keep her tribe from starving to death. She will make great sacrifices, endure endless abuse to ensure her people are safe. 

This is the gripping, fascinating story for resistance and culture, a book eager at sharing the truth. An essential read for all American children today about the horrible boarding schools that Native children were forced into. The Federal Government began sending Native children to boarding schools in the 1870s. This was a time when the government was at war with indigenous people, in the end, a war ended up becoming a genocide that nearly wiped entire cultures from the map. 

While this is a great story and I know children endure horrific abuse inside of these boarding schools I am unsure of how accurate this story is. I didn't find any white washing or stereotyping in this book. I found for such a dense read this book was relatively quick to get through. 

This is a middle school book that doesn't shy away from the tough topics. It shows the rough and dark spot of American history from the perspective of a young girl that could have gone through it. Her story is just one of countless stories that actually happened. It is a great book for children to learn history, face their struggles, and ultimately learn to use the past to help change the future. 

I received this book for review from Sleeping Bear Press in exchange for my honest but completely unbiased review. All thoughts, opinions are my own. 

Goodreads Description: 

Ten-year-old Four Winds is a young Lakota girl caught up in the changes brought about by her people's forced move to the reservation. 

Set in the Dakota Territory, it is the year 1880. Four Winds has been taken away from her family and brought to a boarding school run by whites.

 It is here she is taught English and learns how to assimilate into white culture. But soon she discovers that the teachers at this school are not interested in assimilation but rather in erasing her culture. On the reservation, 

Four Winds had to fight against starvation. Now she must fight to hold on to who she is. 

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