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New Sitting Bull book comes from a grateful heart
December 9, 2015


Dennis Neumann for United Tribes News

BISMARCK (UTN) – Sitting Bull’s courageous spirit lives on in S.D. Nelson’s new book, “Sitting Bull, Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People,” 2015, Abrams, New York.

The award-winning author and illustrator of Native American children’s books demonstrates his gratitude to his Standing Rock Tribe with a handsome volume about the famous Lakota patriot.

Plenty has been written about Sitting Bull but this 10 x 10, hard-cover volume is an Abrams Young Readers edition with special appeal. Schools and school libraries in particular are well-advised to have it.

The wonder-filled illustrations Nelson is famous for are rendered this time in pictograph style on ledger pages. Shown are events of Sitting Bull’s lifetime, from his upbringing as a hunter and warrior, through the conflicts with settler-colonizers and the military, to the Greasy Grass, exile in Canada, the Wild West shows, and his closing years on Standing Rock.

The personalized narrative voice of the text is that of Sitting Bull himself, supplemented with quotations from him and other noted tribal figures and characters from periods during his life.

What makes this work by Nelson more than just a picture story is the research foundation and the inclusion of an appropriate amount of reference information. A map and historic photos, a chronology, end notes, an index, and selected bibliography all combine to corroborate the authenticity of this telling of the great man’s life and point the way for young readers as they mature.

The Author’s Note on the life of this “Hero of the People” provides a context and interpretation that only can be rendered by someone from within the culture.

“I am forever grateful to the Standing Rock Tribe for paying for my college tuition during my four years of undergraduate studies in Art/Education at Minnesota State University at Moorhead,” wrote Nelson about his educational path. “I have always felt a link between my tribe and the gift of my higher education that was given to me.  My mom, Christine, reminded me that I should try to demonstrate my gratitude in some way. I hope my Native American children's books are the offering of a grateful heart.”

Use this link to learn more about Nelson and his books: www.sdnelson.net.

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