- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (Aug. 27 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014131236X
- ISBN-13: 978-0141312361
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 19.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#171,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #93 in Books > Children's Books > Geography & Cultures > Multicultural Stories > Native North & South Americans
- #190 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Difficult Discussions > Prejudice & Racism
- #436 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Boys & Men
The Heart of a Chief Paperback – Aug 27 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
"Bruchac explores what it means to be Native American in a modern society through the perceptive first-person narrative of 11-year-old Chris Nicola," said PW. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-A contemporary story about an 11-year-old Penacook boy's emergence as a leader. Chris Nicola and his little sister are cared for with affection and wisdom by elderly Auntie and Doda. Their mother is deceased and their father is away battling alcoholism. The stories and traditions of Chris's people give the boy the courage and conviction to deal with life. Upset by the proposed establishment of a casino on a pristine island on the New Hampshire reservation, he and three friends destroy a surveyor's stakes. With unwavering passion, he defends his actions to reservation law officers. Wary but determined, Chris starts sixth grade at Rangerville Junior High and mingles with the white world. He is chosen as leader for a group report on using Indian names for sports teams. His call for unanimity through discussion mirrors tribal practices and generates a presentation that exposes the insensitivity of the school and attracts community attention. Chris is an appealing, resilient, optimistic character. His sincerity wins friends among adults and peers, even the reputed school bully. An effective balance of dialogue and first-person narrative propel the story forward. This upbeat narrative does not disguise the harsh realities of reservation life or the social and emotional struggles of Native Americans. Rather, the qualities of leadership emerge in Chris as he taps into his rich cultural past, recognizes his own potential, and stands up for his values.
Gerry Larson, Durham Magnet Center, Durham, NC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top customer reviews
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I read Heart of a Chief. It is about a boy named Chris Nicloa. Chris is nervous because he is about to start his first day of middle school. Chris, to his surprise, becomes class leader and is very popular to the people in the school. He discovers that his town leaders have decided to place a casino on his island Penacock Indian Reservation. He decides to stand up for himself and class mates for what he believes in and to get the casino built somewhere off the island.
I think this a very good book because it shows someone with a lot of courage doing what he believes in. This book gives the mind encouragement in doing what's right. It makes you think anything is possible and worth trying. Chris is really bright and smart and does things that most people would be too scared to do. This is a heart-warming story that I think everyone can relate to in the end.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I found some of the issues presented very relevant to real situations in New England (the school mascot names, the casino controversies, even some of the tribal names which correspond to places or rivers in New England that students may recognize).
This book teaches that even children can make a difference and people will listen if you stand up for what is right. It also exemplifies that there is always hope, possibilities, and alternative solutions to problems. It doesn't pretend there are no problems, it's real, and also encouraging.
I especially liked the stories that the wise old Doda told to teach life lessons. My favorite is in chapter 6. :) But I don't want to give it away.
I highly recommend the book!
The Heart of a Chief
When I read this book I learned ten things about the modern day Native Americans. I learned they live on reservations and go to regular schools, they drive in cars, and really enjoy following their cultures. What I found interesting is that a lot of them don't speak their native tongue. Native American kids today also enjoy doing what regular kids like to do. Most Indians now live in houses on reservations instead of teepees or wigwams. They eat our food and most of them shop at stores instead of poaching for food like deer or turkeys. They also wear regular clothes. They don't wear deerskins or hide anymore. Native Americans are very different today!
There is a sentence that inspired me. "And I know that whatever happens to me from now on, whether it is good or bad, I will always remember this: that the heart of a true chief beats with the hearts of the people." That sentence was my favorite in the whole book! It shows that to be a true leader you have to think about your people before yourself.
Chris was the main character in this book. His family have a lot of similarities and differences to people
today. Chris lives in a modern day house and goes to regular schools, just like me. Chris lives on a reservation for Native Indians and he and his friends are still called nicknames, which they got after something they did incredible or something they are. People today are still a lot like Chris and his family.
The part I enjoyed the most was when Chris and his friends did their report on Indian names being used as sports logos or team names. I thought that the report they did really started to make a difference.
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend especially if they wanted to learn more about Native Americans. Out of 5 stars I would give a 5! It was well written and had a good moral.
I think the book was really inspiring. It shows not to give up. A little believing can make a big difference!