December 2, 2016


Long ago when the new world had just been discovered, there lived a tribe of Indians; they made their homes among the canyons and brush of the Midwest and Mexico, and they prospered. Babies were born, grew up, married. The married became old and died; such was the life of the Midwest Indians. That peaceful life was shattered, through, when in the late 1500's pale visitors riding great antlerless deer began to explore the West. These white men, also known as Conquistadors, exploited the land they traveled through, leaving it a barren wasteland, leaving the Indians nothing. This is the story of the Midwest Indians - their lives before the white man, the bitter slavery that followed, and the creation of the Mexican culture. This is the story contained in the pages of Indio by Sherry Garland.

Ipa-tah-chi loved her village very much - the bubbling stream, the rustling corn, the dusty canyon wall which she loved to climb. But most of all Ipa loved the people who lived in the village - Grandmother, her brothers Kadoh and Ximi, and her cousin Xucate. She never wanted anything to change, but like a sudden rainstorm that destroys the corn, change did come. The Spanish Conquistadors swooped down upon the village and wreaked havoc, taking prisoner Ipa, Xucate, and young Kadoh. The three have no idea what awaits them or where the Spaniards are taking them; they only know it must be worse than death. Ipa prays to the panther god for help, but none comes; perhaps there is only one true god, as the Spanish monks say, a God who hears her. Does he hear her now?

This was an excellent book, but I would recommend that only age 13+ read it; there are very violent scenes, as well as graphic descriptions of child birthing. I would recommend that parents pre-read this book first to see if they're all right with their teenagers reading the material. Sherry Garland has created a wonderful story full of historical accuracy, heart warming moments, and gut-punching ones. Quite an excellent story, a thrill to read.


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