Cherokee Trail of Tears and the
Navajo Long Walk
Forced Relocation of Native Americans
Cherokee Trail of Tears (1830s) and the Navajo Long Walk (1860s) are
two of the most tragic chapters in the history of our country and are
definitely very important for children to learn about. The
well- researched children's books do an
exceptional job of conveying the facts and the human component of the
Trail of Tears and the Navajo Long Walk.
plan to add more children's books to this list, hopefully soon. If you
know of good books we could add to this category, please let
interest age increases as you move down the page.
additional books about
Native American history, please see the
Native Americans section here.
Woman Warrior Who Came Home: A
Story of the Navajo Long Walk
Dzanibaa and her family lived at the Base of Black Mesa until US
soldiers attacked their village and forced her family and thousands of
other Navajos to walk 450 miles and then suffer for years on land that
could not sustain crops. After four years, they were able to return to
their homeland. This book tells their story in both Navajo and English
and includes brilliant color paintings.
Journal of Jesse Smoke: A Cherokee
Boy, The Trail of Tears
This "outstanding addition to the...series" (Booklist)
covers the tragic Cherokee Trail of Tears as seen through the eyes of a
16 year old boy named Jesse. In addition to writing about the
excruciating forced march, Jesse also writes about Cherokee
life, beliefs and practices, and the political forces leading
the forced removal, making this journal a powerful window into the
culture and the Trail of Tears.
Who Chased Away Sorrow:
The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl
Sarah is records her life as a young girl forced to endure the 400 mile
Navajo Long Walk, from when she first saw the US soldiers on the
horizon to the tragic and horrific conditions along the Long Walk
(where those who fell behind were simply murdered by the soldiers).
Sarah also includes details about Navajo life. Turner has opened a
window on a terrible episode in our nation's history.
on this topic:
We'd like this list to be longer so we're looking into a few other
books for this category, including:
- Only the Names Remain: The
Cherokees and the Trail of Tears by Alex Bealer - Soft Rain:
A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Cornelia
Cornellison - Trail of
Tears (Step into Reading) by Joseph Bruchac
- Navajo Long Walk: The
Tragic Story of a Proud Peoples' Forced March from Their
Homeland by Joseph Bruchac [probably
good....he's an excellent writer!]
will add these books, if appropriate, and look for more to add over the
next few months.
Also, if you have read Scott
Down the Moon
in your classroom, please let us know what you think. We are hesitant
to add it here because there seems to be fairly significant errors
(ie...the Spaniards were in the area centuries before the Long Walk;
the book says the Long Walk was just 200 miles, etc.) We haven't been
able to find any reviews that mention errors, so we are hold off on
adding it. Perhaps we're wrong. If you use this book in your class,
what do you think?
you know of a good children's book about the Cherokee Trail of Tears
and other Native American forced relocation programs? If
so, please let us know by completing the Suggest a Book form.