A Broken Flute

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Seale, Doris (Santee/Cree), and Beverly Slapin, eds., A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children. 2005, b/w illustrations

A Broken Flute deals with the issue of cultural appropriation in books for children, and evaluates hundreds of books for children and teenagers published from the early 1900s through 2004.

“[A Broken Flute] is as close to comprehensive as a bibliography on a given subject can get, and more brutally honest than anything else out there. Seale, Slapin, and their reviewers and commentators—noted storytellers, poets, fiction writers, scholars, teachers, and student and community activists—take on Newbery and Caldecott medalists and reading-list perennials for their simplistic, stereotype-filled, condescending, and outright false portrayals of American Indians. The reviews are acerbic and entertaining to read. Far longer than those in most journals and bibliographies, the reviews show why a given book succeeds or fails, with quotations from the text followed by extensive analysis. The bulk of A Broken Flute consists of reviews arranged alphabetically. However, preceding this are bibliographic essays on a variety of subjects—the Thanksgiving myth, photo-essays, the Indian boarding schools, buffalo, Coyote, Raven, and dreamcatchers, among others. Equally valuable are the reflections of the reviewers and their children, in the form of essays and poems, about the negative images perpetrated by mainstream society and its educational system as well as their own efforts to make their voices heard. Here, we see concerned parents and grandparents and strong Indian children who have grown up with the good examples that ultimately stand out in this book.”—Multicultural Review

A Broken Flute is the winner of a 2006 American Book Award and a 2006 Skipping Stones Honor Award.

Hardcover is $60.00;  Paperback is $40.00.



Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children

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Slapin, Beverly, and Doris Seale (Santee/Cree), eds., Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children. (1987), 2006, b/w illustrations.

“[Through Indian Eyes is a] superb collection of articles that together function as a guide to the murky world of ‘children’s books about Indians.’ Poetry, personal recollection, and reviews of books from a Native perspective lead the librarian, teacher and parent to an understanding of the often subtle stereotypes and mythology that abound about Native Americans in children’s literature.”—American Indian Library Association

“It’s an absolutely wonderful resource, containing lots of insights not available in standard reference tools. The format and layout make it very easy to use.”—Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Through Indian Eyes is the winner of a 1999 Skipping Stones Honor Award.



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