Review of The Seventh Direction: A Legend of Creation

The Seventh Direction: A Legend of Creation The Seventh Direction: A Legend of Creation
by Kevin Locke; illus. by Kristy Cameron
Primary    Medicine Wheel    48 pp.
3/24    9781778540134    $18.95

Renowned Indigenous storyteller Locke (Lakota and Anishinabe) provides an engaging retelling of a Lakota legend. Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka (the Great Spirit) creates the world in seven days. After sending power to the East, South, West, and North, Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka creates mountains, trees, plants, animals, and water. On day five, the ancestors are put into motion in Grandfather Sky; on day six, Grandmother Earth receives the gift of creation. Finally, on the seventh day, Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka makes the greatest gift: the human spirit. But where to put it? Buffalo, Bear, and other animals have ideas, but in the end Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka places it at the center of all. “The intersection of everything in this universe, this creation, is within each one of us. We have the responsibility to guard this precious gift as it does not belong to us but to Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka.” Locke’s lively text and Cameron’s (Métis) brightly colored and textured stylized illustrations bring a dynamism to the tale. A list of Lakota words in the text is appended.

From the May/June 2024 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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