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Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Storyby S. D. Nelson
Synopses & Reviews
Told from the Native American point of view, Black Elkand#8217;s Vision provides a unique perspective on American history.
From recounting the visions Black Elk had as a young boy, to his involvement in the battles of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee, as well as his journeys to New York City and Europe with Buffalo Billand#8217;s Wild West Show, this biographical account of Black Elkand#8212;an Oglala-Lakota medicine man (1863and#8211;1950)and#8212;follows him from childhood through adulthood.
S. D. Nelson tells the story of Black Elk through the medicine manand#8217;s voice, bringing to life what it was like to be Native American in the mid-to-late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The Native people found their land overrun by the Wha-shi-choos, or White Man, the buffalo slaughtered for sport and to purposely eliminate their main food source, and their people gathered onto reservations. Through it all, Black Elk clung to his childhood visions that planted the seeds to help his peopleand#8212;and all peopleand#8212;understand their place in the circle of life.
The book includes archival images, a timeline, a bibliography, an index, and Nelsonand#8217;s signature art.
Praise for the work of S. D. Nelson
Western Writers of America Spur Storyteller Award
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award
[STAR] and#8220;An appealing story full of excitement, warmth, and wisdom.and#8221; and#8212;The Five Owls, starred review
and#8220;A fine choice for story hours, this will also find wide curricular use.and#8221; and#8212;Booklist
and#8220;A modern-day story in the Sioux tradition of storytelling.and#8221; and#8212;Winston-Salem Journal
and#8220;Splendid acrylic artwork captures the action, humor, and spirit of the tale. A solid addition to collections of Native American tales and an enjoyable read-aloud.and#8221; and#8212;School Library Journal
and#8220;Nelson pulls it off with his confident style as a storyteller . . . polished illustrations . . . informative, well written.and#8221; and#8212;Kirkus Reviews
FandP level: U
"Nelson (Coyote Christmas) returns with his highly stylized paintings and trademark primary-colored horses in this tale about Black Elk, a Sioux medicine man at the turn of the 19th century. The author, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, imagines Black Elk's first-person account of Native American life as the Wha-shi-choos (white people) bring trains and forts to the Great Plains and slaughter buffalo by the thousands ('They made lines on our land with their wagon roads and their iron rails'). Anchoring the story are spreads detailing Black Elk's vision when he was nine. In it, 'the Powers of the World' teach that each person 'must choose to walk with the water of life or the weapon of destruction.' The illustrations' nave, flat style mutes some of the more graphic events (speared and bloodied fighters and horses are seen at the Battle of the Little Bighorn). Archival photos round out this poignant history lesson, and author notes contextualize the meaning of Black Elk's vision within Native philosophy. A time line of European exploration and western settlement and select Indian War conflicts is included. Ages 8 — 12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This biographical account of Black Elk--a Lokota/Ogala medicine man--chronicles his life from childhood all the way through adulthood. Readers will follow Black Elk through his trials and tribulations of life in the villages to being a part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Full color.
This fascinating picture book biography tells the childhood story of Buffalo Bird Womanandmdash;a Hidatsa Indian born around 1839. Through her true story, readers learn what it was like to be part of this Native American community, which lived along the Missouri River in the Dakotas, a society that depended on agriculture for food and survival rather than hunting. Using original artwork and archival photographs, award-winning author/illustrator S. D. Nelson has captured the spirit of Buffalo Bird Girl and her lost way of life. The book includes a bibliography and an index, as well as an authorandrsquo;s note and timeline of events.
Awards and praise for Buffalo Bird Girl
Gelett Burgess Award
CCBC Choices Book, Biography
? Kirkus starred review
? SLJ starred review
This is an exceptional poetry collection written by Lakota students in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The historic school was founded in 1888 at the request of Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota. The poems enable readers to learn about the unique lives and heritage of students growing up in such distinctive circumstances and straddling cultures. The collection was compiled by a teacher at the school, working with school administrators, and contains never-before-published artworks by award-winning artist S. D. Nelson.
Praise for Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky
"This is an important collection that offers opportunities for insight into a culture that has too often been either ignored or misunderstood."
--Booklist, starred review
"A moving, fascinating glimpse across cultures. Vivid, polychromatic illustrations by Nelson accompany the studentsand#8217; evocative works."
"As a collection, the poems present an interesting, eye-opening look at the Lakota culture, which is one that is often overlooked. The paintings by S.D. Nelson are gorgeous and vibrant."
--Library Media Connection
New York Public Libraryand#8217;s Children's Books 2012: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list
HONORABLE MENTION - 2012 Aesop Accolade, American Folklore Society
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013
About the Author
S. D. Nelson is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribeand#160;of the Dakotas. He is the author of three previous childrenand#8217;s books for Abrams. School Library Journal called Gift Horse and#147;fluid in both narrative and illustrations,and#8221; and Kirkus said Star People was and#147;an exemplary offering.and#8221; He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
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