The voices of fifty-seven young American Indians emerge in a powerful collection of original writing coedited by the anthologist of YOU HEAR ME? and THINGS I HAVE TO TELL YOU.
When the night isgone and the day isstill coming,we will be taken awayfrom this earth.We will be rising asthe next generationis coming.- from "Next Generations" by Marcia Blacksmith, age thirteen, Crow, LakotaOpen this revelatory anthology of poetry, prose, and memoir and listen to the voices of today’s young American Indians, ages eleven to twenty-two, from many nations across the country: A young man pines for his "fry bread queen" in a comically honest take on unrequited love. Another teen tells of a "carbonation dance," his summer ritual of crushing returnable Coke cans with his grandfather. Some express typical teenage angst. Others share glimpses of their culture’s unique traditions and beliefs. And many speak of culture clash - such as the homesick "rez girl" riding the New York subway like a "Cochiti carrot in the huge ethnic salad." The chorus assembled between the covers of this essential book sings a song that transcends all borders, seen and unseen.
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Sam English, who created the cover image for NIGHT IS GONE, DAY IS STILL COMING, is an American Indian artist who believes that his role is to paint the contemporary Native American in a spiritual sense. Sam English has received numerous awards from Native American art shows around the country as well as some fifty commissions from tribal, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. In 1997, he was commissioned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to create a mural for the 1997 inauguration.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6 Up-"Our oral tradition isn't fading away/Just hard to recognize 'cause it has changed/Look for it hard 'cause it's hard to see/When I found it, I realized it was always with me." A 22-year-old member of the Kiowa nation begins his poem, "Oral Tradition," with these lines that could well serve as the thesis for this collection of poems and prose by 57 American Indians between the ages of 11 and 22. Whether they feel oppressed, cheated, or inspired, these young people write from the depths of their souls, recalling past indignities to their people that have shaped who they are today. Annette Bird Saunooke of the Eastern Band Cherokee writes, "My skin is a camouflage and my eyes, though blue, are magnifying glasses of a stereotype-a stereotype marked by a little Indian doll with a Hollywood history." And, though others feel an affinity with their heritage, they discover their "smallness" in the world. Nineteen-year-old Vena A-dae writes, "I am the Cochiti carrot in the huge ethnic salad." Other selections give a glimpse into Native American life today, living on the "rez,"-a life still rife with the pains of the past and with revered traditions. Eleven-year-old Ramona dreams of being a Native American president. These are honest voices in a well-organized anthology that gives an excellent look into an important American culture. It may also serve as a stepping-off point to social studies discussions.
Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
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