As I noted on the main California page, I was somewhat hesitant to add Island of the Blue Dolphins to my list for California, because I was concerned about the possibility of a very dated view of Native Americans (it was first published in 1960). So I actually read an expanded version: Island of the […]

Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson (2016) is the second in the Gold Seer series, which began with Walk On Earth a Stranger. The first book sees the heroine and her childhood friend travel from Georgia along the Oregon Trail to California gold country in 1849, and although it was quite good and historically […]

As mentioned on my main California page, Walk On Earth a Stranger is the first in Rae Carson’s Gold Seer trilogy, and it mainly covers Leah’s journey from Georgia to California in 1849–and the historical information is fantastic! Because not much of it actually takes place in California, however, it’s not the best book for […]

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 13 May 2005.

Raintree County by Ross Lockridge, Jr. was an excellent book for my reading challenge. Take a look at some of the passages below, and you’ll see a small portion of how Lockridge describes Raintree County in west central Indiana. This first one is a description of a book within a book–an illustrated atlas of Raintree […]

I’m really enjoying Linda Furiya’s memoir Bento Box In the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood In Whitebread America (2006), but I have a little quibble. During her upbringing in rural Indiana, she experienced many incidents of casual racism. Her memories of comments that stung are poignant; she gives many examples of thoughtless words spoken by white […]

There are several important scenes in Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman, that take place in Chaco Culture National Historic Park. I will try not to give spoilers, but will instead stick to simply “illustrating”–providing the reader with a bit more information on what’s mentioned in the text. First of all, a map of the […]

Several of my recent reads for New Mexico are set (at least part of the time) on the Navajo Nation of the Southwestern United States. First of all, I should note that the Navajo Nation is located mostly in Arizona. The map below shows how the Navajo population is distributed throughout the Nation. (For reference, […]

I’ve been telling my 10 year-old son about the Navajo Code Talkers–and he’s loving it! Kids love secret codes–I certainly did, and so does my son. He recently received a Mail Order Mystery as a gift (the pirate one), and it included several messages in a basic pigpen code. He was very excited, and, although […]

As I said in my (updated) main New Mexico post, after reading Joseph Bruchac’s Code Talker book, and starting to listen to Chester Nez’s Code Talker book, I decided to return to a new incarnation of an old favorite. When I was in high school, in the mid- to late-1980’s my dad and I read […]

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac (2005) is a fascinating read, especially for a history buff like me. This was another aspect of World War II that I hadn’t heard much about and excited to learn about. However, unlike Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse, where the […]