Indigenous America

Penguin Workshop. (True History). Aug. 2022. 176p. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9780593386088.
Gr 4-8–A comprehensive and accessible history of the Indigenous peoples of North America. McDonald takes young readers through a tour of Native American history, debunking myths and misinformation while highlighting influential individuals who have made a lasting impact on Indigenous and North American history. Focusing on the events from before Columbus to the present day, this thorough volume pokes holes in long held beliefs, such as how the first tool-using humans migrated from Siberia 13,000 years ago; evidence has been found that Indigenous peoples have been around at least 130,000 years. From the signing of the Declaration of Independence to each conflict the U.S. has fought in, Native Americans have been a part of every aspect of American history. The work also details the horrible and methodical institutional racism, genocide, ethnocide, and erasure that they have endured at the hands of colonizers. Painful to read at times, this book illuminates not only the suffering Indigenous people experienced at the hands of the U.S. government, but also sheds light on their resilience and the impact they have made and continue to make on American culture. The narrative sometimes jumps chronologically, focusing more on themes than a specific time line. Sidebars are scattered throughout, offering definitions, context, and more to engage readers and add interest. There are also discussion questions at the end of each chapter, making this a good tool for classroom use. Images and a selected bibliography are included in the back matter. The author takes on an informal tone, speaking directly to readers, recalling the oral traditions that he emphasizes at the start.
VERDICT A strong choice for middle grade collections, especially where readers are not yet ready for Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing