3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
caringreader reviewed The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864 (Dear America) on
Helpful Score: 5
I thought this was a nice book for a younger person to learn a little about the Navajo Nation in 1864..and their walk of tears. It's written as diary of a young Navajo girl. I thought it was sweet yet made me want to do some research about this time in our history.
This was an easy read, fictional account of actual events, suitable for an older child or an adult. The author did her best to make a sad, terrible event not as heavy as it could have been, and to find happy moments within the tale. That said, there is some violence that might upset younger readers; the animals they need to survive are stolen, people drown or freeze, the old and sick literally drop dead on the road. It is said that the soldiers 'hurt' some of the girls, but the narrator is not sure how, and it is never explored. These things are historically accurate, but the author does not linger on them, and it is not at all graphic. Here is what I consider to be the worst atrocity the soldiers commit in the book, so you can decide if your children are emotionally ready to read this.
"This day there is a woman big with child behind us - I do not know her name. Her husband and mother, I think, are supporting her as she struggles to keep up. With one hand pressed to her belly, she shakes her head. Aunt knows that the baby is coming and runs to ask the Nakai if we can stop until the woman gives birth. But when she returns, we know the answer is no.
"Farther behind, the woman drops, until I cannot see her at all. Then a soldier comes galloping down the line, his red hair sticking out from his hat. It is Hot Face, and he disappears around a bend in the land. Only we hear a sudden bolt of sound.
"Grandfather and Uncle use an evil word. Tears roll down Grandmother's cheeks as Partridge Girl plucks at her dress. 'What happened, what is it?'
"The rest of us know that the blue soldiers shot the woman, that it is easier to shoot than to help."
There are so many men in blue! They make loud cries, their horses stamp, and all the time the Nakai is shouting directions to us... "Make a ling, all together! You can bring your animals."
Kaibag names him Mean Mouth for his tight, skinny lips, and I pull hard on her hand, remining her that he understands out language adn that we must be careful...
Mean Mouth tells us that we are going to the Place of the Soldiers, where we will be protected for our old enimies, the Utes. The whit men will help us and feed us, for they can see that we are starving. Now is the time to stop raiding and stealing adn become the kind of pople that the Great White Fther wants us to be.
I am so confused and afraid that the words stram over me like smoke. Where wre they taking us? Will they kil lus along the way?