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Reviewed by:
  • Saga of the Sioux: An Adaptation of Dee
  • Elizabeth Bush
Zimmerman, Dwight Jon, ad. Saga of the Sioux: An Adaptation of Dee Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Holt, 2011. [240p] illus. with photographs ISBN 978-0-8050-9364-3 $18.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 6–9.

At the fortieth anniversary of the publication of Dee Brown’s seminal Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Zimmerman offers an adaptation for middle-schoolers. In an opening note he carefully explains how he has trimmed the original, focusing solely on the experience of the Sioux and bookending the main chapters with added context on tribal and linguistic relationships within the nation and an epilogue touching on events after the December 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. The result is a cogent, heartbreaking narration of treaties made and promptly broken by white authorities, shrinking tribal lands, heroic and ultimately futile Sioux attempts to hold and regain territory, the hope-filled resurgence by Ghost Dance adherents, and the harrowing final image of the massacre at Wounded Knee (“When the torn and bleeding bodies were carried into the candlelit church, those who were conscious could see Christmas greenery hanging from the open rafters. Above the pulpit was strung a banner: Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men”). While this relatively trim volume doesn’t match the scope of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, it should encourage young readers to tackle the original as soon as they’re able. Black-and-white illustrations, a timeline, Sioux calendar, glossary, index, and lists for print and online reading are included.



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