Review of Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask: Young Readers Edition
by Anton Treuer
Middle School, High School    Levine Querido    389 pp.    g
4/21    978-1-64614-045-9    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-64614-052-7    $18.99

This adaptation of Ojibwe author Treuer’s adult title uses the same question-and-answer format as the original. The well-laid-out topics include terminology; history; religion, culture, and identity; tribal languages; and education. Each section contains at least seven questions (others contain many more), which are listed in the table of contents for quick access. Some of the questions — “Why do Indians have long hair?” “Do Indians live in tipis?” — might be asked by a young reader. Others — “What is sovereignty?” “What is clouded title?” — would likely be new concepts, since they aren’t often taught in school. A broad audience will be able to relate to, and appreciate, the “social activism” concerns. In the introduction, Treuer states that the answers to some of the questions are his own views, and he encourages readers to seek the perspectives of other Native Americans. This would be a good resource for readers to begin learning about Native American histories, lives, and cultures. Extensive recommended reading and notes, along with an index, provide resources for deeper understanding of the concepts presented. Photos throughout add context and vitality to the information provided.

From the July/August 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Nicholl Denice Montgomery

Nicholl Denice Montgomery is currently working on a PhD at Boston College in the curriculum and instruction department. Previously, she worked as an English teacher with Boston Public Schools.

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