Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow

Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow

The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl

Dear America
by Ann Turner
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Hardcover, 195 pages
Current Retail Price: $10.95
Used Price: $6.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy
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  Or, the Benefits of Historical Fiction
Sincerelyornot of Oregon, 10/14/2011
Indians in America were ever my favorite topic in grade-school history. Not sure why, but I always preferred to read about the political development, or at least the wagon trains and new farms.

Oh, sure, the history books had these parts on American Indians, but I usually skimmed those for the relevant MC factoids and moved on. Navajos went on the Trail of Tears, the Flatheads had flat foreheads, the Crow saw stealing as a tribal hobby, etc.

Which is why this book gets four stars, and why this series is so valuable a resource for any library. Mom could get me to read biographies, but she only had so much time to look up and find those biographies that were worthwhile, age appropriate, and on a variety of topics. With this series, she just pointed me to the first Dear America diary. I could easily find all the rest of the books on the same shelf in the library, reading my way, unintentionally, through far more time periods than I would look up on my own.

Fiction's great strength is its ability to bring together some otherwise disparate areas of expertise. I would never have looked up the biography of a Navajo Indian from the Trail of Tears, but because this book was in a series that I already liked, I happily read the entire (tragic, fascinating, and intriguing) book.