Thursday, June 30, 2016

Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing by Charles Alexander Eastman (1858-1939) [Review & Giveaway]

Publisher: Wisdom Tales
ISBN-13: 978-1937786564
About the book: Indian Boyhood recalls Eastman’s earliest childhood memories. He was born in a buffalo hide tipi in western Minnesota, and raised in the traditional Dakota Sioux manner until he was fifteen years old. He was then transplanted into the “white man’s” world. Educated at Dartmouth College, he went on to become a medical doctor, renowned author, field secretary for the YMCA, and a spokesman for American Indians. Eastman was at Pine Ridge during the “Ghost Dance” rebellion of 1890-91, and he cared for the wounded Indians after the massacre at Wounded Knee. In 1910 he began his long association with the Boy Scouts of America, helping Ernest Thompson Seton establish the organization. A 2007 HBO film, entitled Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, features American Indian actor Adam Beach as Eastman.

My thoughts:  This is a first-hand experience story written many years ago by a Sioux Indian, Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman, his white man's world name) recounting his boyhood as he was raised in the traditional Sioux Indian way. It is fascinating to learn how this child grew thoroughly immersed in the Indian world and then went on into adulthood and assimilated into the white man's world as a highly educated doctor and published author.Originally published in 1902 by Charles Eastman recounting his traditional Dakota Sioux childhood. Mr. Eastman lived 1859 to 1939 so he was intrinsically involved.

Indian Boyhood is the story of a disappearing culture even during this recounted childhood, and it is wonderful to see that today's publishers and editors see the value in a resurgence of this man's story and are adapting and publishing it for today's children to read and learn about original Americans.

While the book doesn't have much "girl appeal," it is certainly a valuable source of information for any child. Targeted for age four and up, the text flows easily and simply states in a very simple form what transpires as the boy grows until he leaves with his re-discovered father for the white man's world. 

The illustrations are very well done and capture the essence of the Indian life the story details. I like that the book opens with pictures of the author in traditional Indian clothes as well as his white man's world clothes. At the end of the book, there is a list of explanations that helps to understand the illustrations.

A very good book for simply learning about the young Indian boy's life. A must for school libraries.
Begins 6/30
ENDS 7/20/2016 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Wisdom Tales to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review.


  1. 1. Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman) was born in a buffalo hide tipi near Redwood Falls, Minn.
    2. He was initially raised in his homeland of Minnesota by his grandmother.
    3. He spent two years at Beloit College before successively going to Knox College, Ill.; then Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, and finally to Dartmouth College.

  2. I learned....His father was a full-blood Sioux. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1887. He and his wife separated in August 1921.

  3. For myself & my children...Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree:
    Exploring Trees Around the World. For a book to review on here...President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House

  4. Feathers for Peacock written by: Jacqueline Jules sounds like a book my granddaughter would enjoy reading with me. I think Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree:
    Exploring Trees Around the World written & illustrated by: Durga Yael Bernhard would be a good book to see reviewed here.

  5. He was a Minnesota Indian, where I grew up and learned a lot about the Sioux Indians at school. His mother died shortly after his birth and he was later associated with the Boy Scouts. Sounds so fun to read!

  6. For myself I would like to read The Olive Tree and to see reviewed, The Hunter's Promise.

  7. I learned that Charles Eastman was born in 1858. He was initially raised in his homeland of Minnesota by his grandmother. Charles Eastman eventually became the foremost Indian spokesman of his day.

  8. I would like the book Feathers for Peacock by Jacqueline Jules for my nieces. I also like Whispers of the Wolf by Pauline Ts’o. I would be happy to see either of them reviewed here. They both look like great reads!

  9. That he was born in a buffalo hide tipi near Redwood Falls, Minn.
    His father's name was “Many Lightnings”.
    His birth name was “Hakadah".
    Very interesting to read.

  10. I would love to see a review for Saint Anthony the Great.
    A book for me and my grand kids would be When the Animals Saved Earth.

  11. I actually think my girls would enjoy this one. They love learning about other cultures! Thanks for sharing this at the Booknificent Thursday link-up on this week!

  12. Eastman's father was full-blood Sioux. His father had adopted the English name of his wife’s father, Eastman, so the boy now named himself Charles Alexander Eastman. In 1910, Eastman began is long association with the boy scouts.

  13. I learned this about him; At fifteen, Ohiyesa had just entered Indian manhood and was preparing to embark on his first war-path to avenge the reputed death of his father.


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