The Life And Death Of Crazy Horse

1112 words - 4 pages

The Life and Death of Crazy Horse By Russell Freedman Life and The Death of Crazy Horse is a young adult biography. I feel this book has all the qualities of a good young adult biography. As a future educator I would recommend this novel to students and teachers alike. It is very unfortunate that in today's society we know very little about Native Americans. This book helps us to better understand their culture and their way of life. We also get a historical account of the events that occurred which caused the Native Americans to end up on reservations. Who is Crazy Horse? We've all probably heard the name but few people know who he is. Russell Freedman does an excellent job of portraying a realistic true to life character. When we first meet Crazy Horse he is a little boy named "Curly." However he is known all around town as "Our Strange One." He is set apart by his looks-his narrow face, light skin, and soft curly hair. The author the gives us the total transformation into the warrior he is remembered as. There is nothing at all romanticized about the hero. In fact I think we can all relate to him in some way. For example, in every young adults life there is an "awkward" period, a time of self-discovery. Well Crazy Horse went through the same thing. As a young boy he started to see the wars going on around him. He knew that every person has a "calling" that only they can fulfill. He knew that he would go out to a lonely place to commune with the spirits in hopes of getting a vision. This vision would inspire them for the rest of their lives. This journey of self-discovery helps to create a bond with the readers. So, by the end of the book the reader feels they really know Crazy Horse. This biography is jammed packed with historical facts. We read about the Oregon Trail and the Union Pacific Railroad. As well as numerous battles between tribes as well as whites. For example, The Grattan Massacre (1854), Fetterman Massacre or Battle of the Hundred Slain (1866-68) and numerous other battles. It is evident that the author has done extensive research by his descriptions of the people and the culture. I feel this is the most important aspect of the history of this biography. I fell this way because many people have stereotypes and biases about what they do not know. Russell Freedman does an excellent job of showing the reader the Sioux practices of raising children, courting, marriage and divorce, and professions. For example we see that a child was never touched by a punishing adult hand. If they were in trouble they were talked to gently, but never harshly. When a man wanted to court a woman they'd use a courting blanket. The man would cover him and the woman in the blanket so nobody could see what they cold talk privately. By custom a Sioux woman had the right to leave her husband if she was not happy and live with anyone she chose. As far as a mans...

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