NonFiction Review: Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture

National Geographic Kids Encyclopedia of American Indian Hist... by Cynthia O'Brien
Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture
by Cynthia O’Brien

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This book lists the major characteristics and customs of over 160 Native American tribes, dedicating one or two pages to each tribe and including illustrations and photographs, both of historic cultures and modern people.

The book is grouped by region, showing how the environment and climate shaped their culture and livelihood. Time lines demonstrate the changes and historic events that developed their societies.
Each region section has a tribal story that is a part of that culture’s traditions and beliefs.

One of the features that I really appreciated is the phonetic pronunciation guide that helps readers to know how pronounce tribal names, including simple words in each language like “hello,” goodbye,” and “thank you”.

The photographs are colorful and emotional, drawing the reader into this vibrant world. I really loved the combination of illustrations and photos, showing artifacts, animals, historical people, homes, toys, traditional dress, musical instruments, common foods, and every detail pertaining to daily life.

The book does a good job of balancing historical information with modern information about the tribes today. It also deals in a fair and unbiased way with some of the terrible wars that Native Americans had with Europeans settlers, giving the facts about events, but not going into details.

I was especially excited to look up the entry for the Cherokee people, since my great-grandmother was Cherokee! I was happy to see that it includes the development of the Cherokee alphabet and writing system, as well as the history of the Trail of Tears.

I loved this book, and I enjoyed finding out more about these rich and beautiful cultures!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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