November Book Reviews, Part 2

our stories remember

Our Stories Remember:  American Indian History, Culture, and Values Through Storytelling by Joseph Bruchac
From Miss Heather at Butler and Lucas

With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, November is a great time to explore the history and culture of Native Americans.  Joseph Bruchac is a Navitve American author who has written over 120 books for adults and children, including nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.  Our Stories Remember:  American Indian History, Culture, and Values Through Storytelling is a nonfiction book that weaves Native American folklore, history, cultural significance, and personal histories together in a way that offers readers an in depth perception of this world and provides numerous suggested readings relating to each chapter to expand our understanding.

Our Stories Remember…  is both heart warming and complex.  Bruchac’s introduction sets the stage for how he hopes readers will experience this book.  In it, he tells a short Cheyenne teaching tale that asks, “What should you do with a cup of water that is not good to drink?”  Pouring it out is the Cheyenne way.  Why carry around something that is of no use to anyone?  This analogy reflects his hope that readers will not allow themselves to experience guilt about the history of the Native peoples of our country, as guilt is of no use:  “It clouds your vision with sorrow or twists your thoughts with defensive anger.”  He asks us to relate to this Cheyenne way and “get rid of that which cannot help us and refill our cups with life. Listen, be concerned, take some positive action of your own to make things better-even if it involves only being more mindful of what you do and say, more respectful of other beings…Pour out your cup.  Hold it out empty.  Fill it with Stories.”

So empty your cup, and be ready to fill it!  Open your eyes and hearts and gain appreciation of a diverse culture that has grown to over 1.5 million strong.  Be ready to cherish children and the elderly and gain a deeper understanding of the bonds between generations.  This book has much to offer, but due to its complexity, I would recommend this book to more advanced readers 6th grade and up.

Resources to explore:

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