Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell

Akwesasne - Home. Sarah and Mattie, two Mohawk sisters in the late 1800's, find themselves far from their home at a school called "The Carlisle Indian Industrial School". Sweetgrass Basket is their fictional story, based on real experiences of native American children sent to Carlisle and other schools like it. It is told in alternating voices through prose poetry. Their story is courageous and, at the same time, heartbreaking. The quiet strength the American Indian children had to possess in order to endure the prejudices, cruelties, and loneliness of these schools, whose purpose was to teach the "savages" to be civilized, is awe-inspiring. Sarah and Mattie's story is well worth the read time, especially for girls 9 and older.

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