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Summary: Prospecting for gold in Utah changed people. It changed the settlers who moved west, and it also changed the Native Americans who had called the area home for centuries. Ouray, Chipeta's husband, wanted to become a Ute chief. Ouray's natural leadership skills brought him great attention, and Chipeta, too. After Ouray died, Chipeta continued his peacemaking work. This is a broad-based biography about key Ute tribal leaders.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book,
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 11 to 13
Interest Level: 8 to 12
Reading Level: 6.5
Age of Child: Read by a 10-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child picked this because she had to read a biography for school. At first she read it with that "I don't like homework" attitude. But about a third of the way through the book (and after looking at lots of the pictures), she got into the story. By the end, she said it was very interesting and she was glad she picked it.
Adult Reader Reaction: What a fascinating book. This gave me a perspective about the gold rush that was totally new to me. When I think of the 1860s, I think of the Civil War, but clearly President Lincoln had lots of issues to deal with.
Pros: This is a well-told biography of life as a Native American from the 1840s to the early 1900s. Readers will come away awed by Chipeta and far more appreciative of Native American contributions to our history.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a great choice if you are looking for books about strong women who were (from our standards) ahead of their time.
Educational Themes: Chipeta and Ouray are the central characters, but there is a lot of other history to be learned through the narrative. In addition to a timeline, readers can explore a glossary to learn Native terms.
Notes: Finalist, Willa Literary Award (Women Writing in the West)
The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Nonfiction - biography, Native Americans, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: November 2011, April 2014
Other Reviews: No Critics' Reviews found. See reader feedback at amazon.com. Background Notes
Just as we love pratfalls and physical humor (think Dick Van Dyke falling over the ottoman), kids love finding humor and silliness in book illustrations. Good Night, Gorilla gives them plenty to explore!