In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-04 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 20 user ratings

" A quick, fascinating story about Crazy Horse, as told by a grandpa teaching his grandson about this history of Crazy Horse and the Lakota and what it means to be courageous. I learned so much! I think this is great book for upper elementary school/early middle school students. " said.

" This book was an interesting and quick read. The boy and his grandfather go on a journey, following in Crazy Horse's footsteps. I could imagine many of my students really enjoying this story. I could also imagine my own grandfather sharing similar wisdom with me and my siblings. " said.

" "For reals?" Every time the main character Jimmy said this I cringed a little. The idea of the book was good (Native American boy who doesn't fit in with his peers because he looks differently than most other Natives) but I wasn't very interested in the historical fiction spin on Crazy Horse's life that comprised almost the entire book. " said.

"Enjoyed this a great deal. I think younger children to preteen would also enjoy it. The story of a young Native American boy in present time who is being bullied by two boys at school. His grandfather decides to take him on a journey following the same paths that Crazy Horse had used many years ago. His grandfather tells him the story of Crazy Horse's life from when he was a little boy to when he was killed. It teaches the boy about responsibility and bravery, lessons he can use in his own life. A great blend of present day Native life on a reservation and the historical life of Crazy Horse, a great Native American hero and legend." said.

"Jimmy and his grandfather take a road trip, visiting many key places where Crazy Horse lived and fought. The narrative is relatively easy to read - perfect for 4th graders on up, and the book is relatively short and includes ink sketch illustrations. The narrative alternates between Jimmy's perspective (using third person), and grandfather's stories/history about Crazy Horse (which uses italics to differentiate the text). There is a clear map at the beginning of the book, outlining each place mentioned on their trip, and an author's note and glossary at the end. Excellent for classroom use, this received the American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature Award." said.

"IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CRAZY HORSE by Joseph M. Marshall III tells the powerful story of a Lakota boy who goes on a road trip with his grandfather to learn about his cultural heritage.

Designed for middle grade readers, this compelling story follows Jimmy McClean’s journey to learn about the past in order to understand the present. Jimmy’s grandfather facilitates Jimmy’s quest by taking him to historical landmarks and telling the stories of of his culture heritage using Crazy Horse as the thread that weaves the tale together.

Librarians will find that readers of both realistic and historical fiction will enjoy this story. The novel would be an effective way to immerse readers in Lakota culture and heritage. Consider weaving this text into the upper elementary or middle school reading and history curriculum. The author’s note, glossary, and bibliography add to the usefulness of this outstanding text for classroom use. Also, keep in mind that this book is an excellent addition to the diversity collection.

To learn more about the author, go to

Published by Amulet/Abrams on November 10, 2015. ARC courtesy of publisher.
" said.

"3rd grade booktalk
Sometimes you can tell a little bit about a person from their name – where their family is from, and what kind of heritage they have. You can also tell a little bit about a person from what they look like – depending on the shade of someone’s skin, you might be able to tell something about their heritage too.
But, like with most things, judgments can be wrong, and making assumptions can be hurtful. That’s just the case with Jimmy McClean. Jimmy’s name seems fairly straightforward – you might think he’s Irish or Scottish because of the ‘Mc’ part of his name – or maybe you just think he’s a regular old American kid, because he looks white. But Jimmy isn’t either of those things – he’s a member of the Lakota tribe. He looks fairly “white” because his father was white – but his mother is Lakota. Even though he lives on a reservation and goes to school with other Native American children, he is teased and bullied at school for being white, and for not fitting in.
Jimmy’s grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, sees his grandson’s frustrations about his heritage, and suggests the two of them go on a journey. Grandpa Nyles begins to tell Jimmy stories about one of the most important figures in Lakota (and, arguably, American) history – the famous warrior Crazy Horse, who, it turns out, had light skin and hair just like Jimmy himself.
Jimmy and his grandfather follow Crazy Horse throughout history by visiting historical sites important to the warrior during his lifetime – but will the connection to Crazy Horse be enough for Jimmy to feel connected to his Lakota heritage?
" said.

"Eleven-year-old Jimmy McClean often feels caught between two cultures since he is three-fourths Lakota and one-fourth white. He and his family live on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where he puts up with more than his share of teasing because he looks white and has a white name and struggles with school for many reasons. Jimmy's grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, decides that it's time for a road trip over the territory where Crazy Horse once lived and fought. As they travel to various spots, the older man shares stories of the famous Lakota leader. Jimmy learns several important life lessons along the way, mostly about the need to never forget what happened in the places they visit while gaining a sense of pride and experiencing a feeling of loss for what ultimately happened to Crazy Horse and his people. Thus, readers learn a very different version than might be found in history books of what happened at the Battle of the Greasy Grace (the Battle of the Little Bighorn) and the Battle of the Hundred in the Hands (the Fetterman Battle). Appropriately, the spots they visit and the battles they discuss are described through the lens of the Lakotas. Readers will close the book, moved profoundly, and troubled once again by the treatment of the Lakotas by the whites who moved into their territory. I was particularly impressed by the heroism of this man who chose to fight against the U.S. government and then once again by his decision to surrender in order to protect the women, children, and elderly who were with him. Although the book is understandably slanted in favor of Crazy Horse and the Lakotas, it fills a need for positive depictions of the history of First Nations peoples. I found the stories compelling and just as inspiring as Jimmy does. " said.

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