Crazy Horse and Custer: Born Enemies

Abrams. Oct. 2021. 144p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781419731938.
Gr 5 Up–A thorough treatment of the complicated histories of Lakota, white people, land, and the American westward expansion. In a parallel format, the book follows Crazy Horse and George Armstrong Custer from childhood to their deaths. It adeptly delves into their histories through engaging archival photographs, artwork, quotes, maps, and time lines. Nelson’s breathaking illustrations were created with ink, watercolor, and acrylic paint on cotton paper. The taut writing and short chapters are the perfect vehicle for presenting the epic conflict between the war leaders and make this a great selection for reluctant readers. Nelson, who is Standing Rock Sioux, shares his lineage in the back matter and offers his insight about piecing the work together. Because history is often told by the victors, Nelson focused his research on parsing the facts from myth, as he explains in an author’s note. The back matter also includes an extensive bibliography, notes, and suggestions for further reading. For sensitive readers, there is one graphic historical photograph depicting deceased individuals.
VERDICT Recommend for all libraries.

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