Historical Fiction

Spotted Flower cover

© 1977, 2001 Kae Cheatham
Young reader (grades 3 and up), 2nd print edition: KAIOS Books ISBN-9780971428713, 5.5" x 8.5", 89 pages - $12.95

Cover and illustrations by Louise Ogemahgeshig Fischer

Electronic editions with all illustrations, expanded history notes and references: KINDLE and NOOK

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Native Americans of the North American plains are generally depicted as horsemen, but that is only a recent part of their history. This middle-school chapter book takes place in the 1730s--the era when the American Indians of the Northern Plains got their first look at a horse (ponokomita). Set on the Northern Plains east of the Rockies and north of the Yellowstone River, the book gives information about the lifestyle that was about to end, while offering an adventure to which young people can relate (adults, too).

From accurate research, Cheatham presents a lifestyle that existed thousands of years before the horse arrived to the area; but the main story is a lively adventure of a girl who comes across a horse and takes it back to her people along with information about two of her friends who have been kidnapped.

The feelings and attitudes of the heroine, Spotted Flower, are skillfully brought and it's just the right blend of story and fact that will delight younger readers. The marvelous cover and illustrations by American Indian artist Louise Ogemahgeshig Fischer bring the story extra life.

Midwest Book Review, Children's Bookwatch: Spotted Flower And The Ponokomita would make a welcome addition to a classroom or home-schooling Native American studies curriculum supplemental reading list, as well as any school or community library collection.

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