A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children

Aug 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 17-1: Telling Our Stories, Media Reviews

A BROKEN FLUTE COVERDoris Seale and Beverly Slapin, editors
AltaMira Press (2005), Lanham, MD
436 pages
ISBN 0-7591-0778-5
Paperback $40.00

Review by Gwynne Spencer

A Broken Flute critically reviews and assesses the cultural authenticity and historical accuracy of hundreds of well-known (and elsewhere highly regarded) children’s titles of the past 10 years. It scrutinizes them looking for the taint of misinformation, cultural theft, and lack of balance.

Reviews and articles from 60 contributors defend great books and lambaste those containing indefensible colonialism, white entitlement, approbation of cultural genocide, and whitewashing of the Indian holocaust. If you are teaching Native American kids, this book is a must.

Seale and Slapin are the co-founders of the Oyate organization and have also co-edited Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children (1998), and How to Tell the Difference: A Guide to Evaluating Children’s Books for Anti-Indian Bias. Slapin is the author of the Basic Skills Caucasian Americans Workbook and 10 Little Whitepeople.

Gwynne Spencer is a freelance book reviewer and former teacher.

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