The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee (Young Readers Adaptation): Life in Native America

Viking. Oct. 2022. 288p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593203477.
Gr 9 Up–This is a book about the lives, identity, and trials of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Indigenous author Treuer’s The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, a National Book Award finalist, has been reworked for young adults. Treuer emphasizes that this book is about identity and the ability of Indigenous people to exist on their own terms. The book moves forward in time starting with pre-contact Indigenous peoples and ends in our current era. Each chapter highlights the struggle of Indigenous people in the face of relentless colonialism, government-sanctioned violence, and many other social calamities. This work is an excellent source for young people to explore counter-narratives of North American history—settler society has long controlled the lens. As Treuer writes, “it is an attempt to confront the ways we Indians ourselves understand our place in the world. We carry within us stories of our origins, and ideas about what our families, clans, and communities mean. But too often we agree with the way in which we are read by outsiders.”
VERDICT A well-researched approach to North American history that features personal narratives from Indigenous Americans.

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