Voices of the People

Reycraft. Nov. 2022. 96p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781478875161.
Gr 7 Up–In this collection of biographical poems, Bruchac explores the history of Native Americans from pre-colonization to modern times. “Although there are more than 600 state and federally recognized Native American tribal nations...there is still a surprising lack of awareness about the history—or histories—of the indigenous peoples of America,” he says in the introduction. The poems cover individuals from Jikonsahseh, who lived circa 1100 A.D. and “became known as the Mother of Nations” among the Iroquois, to Jim Thorpe, who lived from 1887 to 1953 and whose Indian name was “Wathahuck, the Light After the Lightning.” The voices are a mix of male and female, and of those who resisted colonization and those who partially assimilated in hopes of improving lives. They include people who are mentioned in history books and some who are left out. The poems are strong and written well, and the artwork really elevates the book. Each poem is faced by a piece of art from a Native American artist whose name and tribal affiliation(s) is provided. A few pages feature only artwork. There is a variety of art, but the majority is photography. The art provides a modern contrast to the historical figures’ lives. Many of the photographs show Native Americans blending pop culture stories of resistance into their lives. Back matter includes a short paragraph or two of more information on each of the individuals featured.
VERDICT Visually stunning artwork combined with character sketches reveal the depth of Native American history in an intriguing way. A good first purchase for libraries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing