Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1970.
It was the spring of 1864, and the fruit trees and fields were promising an abundant yield to the Navajos living in the Canyon de Chelly. Bright Morning was herding her mother’s sheep on the mesa above their village when a sudden change came into her life.
The story Bright Morning tells of the Spanish slavers, the army soldiers, Indian family life, and her friendship with Tall Boy, who is strong and proud, makes fascinating reading. Many changes come to Bright Morning and her people. Many spirits are broken. Bright Morning is one of the few who possess an inner strength based on hope. She will survive.
Scott O’Dell won the coveted Newbery Award in 1961 for Island of the Blue Dolphins. His Sing Down the Moon was the runner-up for the Newbery Award in 1971.
Winds by Mary O’Neill; illustrated by James Barkley. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1970.
This is a book of poetry about the wind and is a tribute to the remarkable talent of Mary O’Neill. The wind is a source of wonderment in the lives of humans. Readers will be inspired and carried aloft by lines such as, “Clouds have names and they live in certain places. The wind plays with all of them and knows their names and their faces.” The unusual illustrations emphasize the sense of wonderment.
Can I Keep Him? Story and pictures by Steven Kellogg. New York: The Dial Press, 1971.
Can I Keep Him? is a very special picture book, one of high and enduring stature. This is the story of Arnold, who loves animals and whose mother has an excuse for not keeping them at home. You’ll never guess what Arnold finally has. It will be fun for you to read about, and the illustrations are beautiful.
The Trees Stand Shining Poetry selected by Hettie Jones; paintings by Robert Andrew Parker. New York: The Dial Press, 1971.
This book is a collection of poetry of North American Indians. These songs and poems have been sung by generations of Indians, but until recently, most of them had not been translated. The drawings are hauntingly beautiful and help us to be aware of the feelings of our Indian friends. Behind their simple verses lie the aspirations of nations.