• One of the best books of 2019 by American Indians in Children’s Literature
• One of the best books of 2019 by Bank Street Children’s Book Committee
• Selected as a finalist for the 2020 Colorado Book Awards for Juvenile Literature
This biography of Spotted Tail traces the life of the famous Lakota leader who expertly guided his people through a pivotal and tumultuous time in their nation’s history as they fought and then negotiated with the U.S. government. Spotted Tail is remembered for his unique leadership style and deep love for his people. Today a university is named in his honor. This early reader is appropriate for children in grades 2-5, and those interested in the life of this great Native leader.
Publishers Weekly says, “Throughout this detailed biography of Spotted Tail (1823–1881), debut author Weiden links conflicts from the Lakota warrior and mediator’s time to the present day. . . . Mixed-media artwork combines crisp photographs of Native land with art by Yellowhawk, including portraits and battle scenes done in the style of earlier Native art, painted on leaves from white settlers’ accounting ledgers.”
American Indians in Children’s Literature says, “Weiden shows how his subject’s perspective changed with his experiences, from young Lakota fighter to prisoner of the US government to caring father to negotiator for his people. . . . A real strength of the book is the way Weiden connects certain aspects of Spotted Tail’s life with ongoing issues for Native people — such as the Lakota people’s efforts to keep/recover the Black Hills. The long-lasting legal and political implications are simply but clearly explained.”
The Roundup magazine says: “Not only is Spotted Tail well researched and informative, this powerful book is visually bold and engaging . . . Highly recommended for all ages.”
5280 magazine notes, “This biography of Sicangu Lakota leader Spotted Tail offers middle-grade (ages eight to 12) readers more than an account of his negotiations with the U.S. government in the mid-1800s; it also encourages discussion about issues facing Indigenous people today.”