Indian Boyhood is the autobiographical work of Eastman's memories as a free Dakota Indian. At the age of fifteen, he was reunited with his father and embarked on a life in white man's society. He became a doctor, tending survivors of the Wounded Knee massacre, and spent the rest of his career helping Indian people come to terms with their changing world and the opposing values of the white culture
The language of this abridgement of Eastman's 1902 memoir may strike some readers as stilted, and Rasch's flat, stylized figures have a faltering, uncertain line. Readers should not be put off. Few records of childhood from the period survive, and this one is singular. Eastman remembers both famine and cruelty ("When I was six, my father and my two older brothers were taken prisoner by the United States Army"), but he maintains a tone of quiet resignation throughout. Details of his upbringing in the wilderness delight: "Every boy was trained to find new and strange things in the woods. If a bird had scratched the leaves off the ground, we stopped to speculate on the time it was done." Eastman's uncle trained him to go without food and to wake from a deep sleep ready to fight, but he never goes to war. Instead, his father returns, they move to the city, and the boy enters school. Teachers devoting time to Native American study and readers who yearn to know more about Native American life will find much to learn and much to mourn. Ages 4 8.
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Definitely worth reading. A journey back in time. I will be buying his other books!