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Although it is part of the For Kids series, this gripping, highly readable overview will draw teens and even some adults into the history of Native Americans, from early times and the arrival of European settlers up to the present. The examples of racism are horrifying, including the early-twentieth-century Supreme Court ruling that Christian people had to govern "an ignorant and dependent race. Also horrifying are the accounts of forced assimilation, including the cruel boarding schools for American Indian children. Throughout, Gibson spotlights important individuals, from Geronimo and Sitting Bull to World War II heroes, athletes, the founders of American Indian Movement (AIM), writers, and political leaders. And she details American Indians continuing, contemporary struggle for cultural preservation and civil rights. Accompanying the historical chapters are challenging activities, such as "Decipher a WWII Navaho military code" and "Write a journal entry as a student in an Indian boarding school." The lack of documentation for direct quotes is unfortunate, but a glossary, bibliography, and annotated lists of up-to-date Web sites are included in this useful resource. Grades 6-10. --Hazel Rochman
Karen Bush Gibson is the author of eight books on Native American culture. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma.