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Sing Down the Moon

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  5,970 Ratings  ·  312 Reviews
The Navajo tribe's forced march from their homeland to Fort Sumner by white soldiers and settlers is dramatically and courageously told by young Bright Morning.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 9th 1970 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1970)
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When I was a child, Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins was one of my favorite books. I loved reading about Karana's survival skills and her fierce determination in the face of terrifying odds. I was hoping that Sing Down the Moon would provide the same level of interest.

The story itself covers a turbulent and tragic period in the history of the Navaho people. America is no longer only their domain; the Spaniards and White men (or Long Knives) have come to stay. The Spaniards prey on Nav
Edwin Soto
In this book it talks about how a lot of people lead the Navaho's to a forest called bosque redondo where they were captured and were forced to eat flower and nothing else.What I think about this book is that it's a really intresting and adventurous book to read about.I recommend this book to people who like to read and learn about the old days and history and how people would live and survive back then.
Wayne S.
Jul 13, 2013 Wayne S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1863 and fourteen-year-old Bright Morning is a Navaho girl living with her father, mother, and older sister Lapana in a village in the Canyon de Chelly, surrounded by mesas in what is now northeastern Arizona. Her brother had been killed by lightning. Her friends are White Deer and Running Bird, and she is sweet on the young warrior Tall Boy. One spring day, Bright Morning and Running Bird take their sheep to pasture on the mesa. Bright Morning’s black dog barks, and that is when she sees ...more
Aug 10, 2013 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and adults alike!!
Read this book in the car to my children as we were traveling through New Mexico to Arizona from our home in Pennsylvania. I love it when I can match a book to a travel destination and this was one of those books. As I was reading, I didn't think my kids really cared, however, once saw mesas and pinon trees my kids' interest perked up. However, when we stopped in Fort Sumner for gas, my kids got so excited because we had just read about Bright Morning and her people being marched there. My son e ...more
Lesli Diaz
Mar 02, 2016 Lesli Diaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book because it was about the Navajo tribe ,The Long Knives , and Apaches that they got in a conflict ,had to escape for a better life. There are more interesting things about this book but if you want to know you have to read and find out. I gave this book a 5/5 because it entertained me and it had lots of details also because it seems like the story happened in real life (maybe it did).
Cristian Caballero
In this book it tells how bright morning and running bird get taken to a place with all of their tribes there. Then bright morning escape with tall boy. Then they get taken to a city and then they have to go alone. bright morning and tall boy get married. Then they have a baby and live there life alone in the cliff. I would recommend this book to people who want to know about the history back then . I would rate this book a 3.
Brian Dansby
Apr 12, 2013 Brian Dansby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Singing Down the Moon”

According to Scott O’Dell’s “Singing Down the Moon’, the Navaho Native Americans endured many long years of suffrage from the United States and the “Ute’s” Native Americans. The Navahos tried to protect themselves by creating treaties with the U.S, but they ran into trouble because “most of them were broken, some by the whites, some by the Indians”. (O’Dell.122). By 1863, things took a turn for the worst for the Navahos because the U.S. became savage and looted for Navaho
Amber Scaife
Mar 11, 2017 Amber Scaife rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Follows a young Navajo girl just before and during The Long Walk.
A good story, nicely told and with characters well drawn, although the beginning bit seemed too disjointed from the second half.
Feb 06, 2014 Shreya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The theme of Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell is about the hardships Navaho Indians had to face when Colonel Kit Carson and his troops drove them to Fort Sumner. This historical fiction novel is based on many true stories from 1863-1865, when the ‘Long Knives’ or the Spaniards drove the entire Navaho population out of their homes. During the cold season, many died and lost loved ones. One day Bright Morning and her friend Running Bird went out on to the mesa of Canyon de Chelly and grazed thei ...more
Danica Midlil
Feb 23, 2012 Danica Midlil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A HA! This was the book that so haunted me from middle school! After I had described the plot, some friends suggested it might have been Naya Nuki Shoshone Girl Who Ran by Kenneth Thomasma, but it wasn't. It was this! The scene that is still so vivid in my mind was when the two girls are abducted by slavers. Shudder shudder shudder! I hated this story. Was it against the law to have us middle schoolers read something funny or uplifting? What is wrong with the people who create the required-reading lists for middle schools? Are they all tortured ...more
This is a gem of a story, especially to introduce children to the sufferings as well as the lifestyles of the Navaho people.
I love that the narrative was through Bright Morning. Her daily tasks, the spirituality of her tribe, and the decision making amongst the elder men.
Then there are the horrors the Navaho faced from 'the long knives' (loved that O'Dell used the terminology used by the Navaho in describing white men/calvary soldiers) as well as the Spaniard slave traders. None of this was wri
Yanelie Manzano
Mar 14, 2016 Yanelie Manzano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book I just read is Sing Down the Moon. This book is so sad because their tribe goes through a lot. They tribe had been so strong for fighting for what is theirs , like they fight for their village and for their food and their place. I recommend this book to my whole class because they would feel bad for the things that happen to people and that they should be grateful for what they have.
Jun 05, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow I am surprised, I actually like it a lot! I just started reading and all the sudden I didn't want to put it down! It was a quick and easy historical fiction read that taught me a lot about some of the past Native American culture and the hardships they went through.
Apr 27, 2013 Vickcal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarah is reading this for her class so I told her I'd read along with her. I have a feeling she'll need someone to cry with after this one...
Nov 24, 2008 Cara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read. I didn't realize it was historical fiction until the end. It was very interesting to read about the history of the Navajo indians. I enjoyed it.
Timothy D
It was an interesting book if you like to read about slavery and how Native Americans were treated. I would recommend this book to people who want to know more about American history.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jia Yan
Feb 19, 2017 Jia Yan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Island Of The Blue Dolphin, but I love this one more!
Naomy Rios
I liked the book my favorite character was tall boy and how he saved his dog I loved the ending X3
Jul 31, 2011 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would consider giving two and a half stars to this book.

The smooth consistency that always marks the award-winning writing of Scott O'Dell is evident in Sing Down the Moon as clearly as in any of his other most famous titles. Scott O'Dell has a way of telling heartbreaking stories from the annals of history with an even-keeled style that allows us to see the sad happenings of yesteryear from an objective standpoint, getting neither too high nor too low emotionally as we follow the events of
Jan 08, 2017 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum
Historical novel about "The Long Walk," the forced migration (on the orders of the United States government) of the Navajo Indians from their homeland in Arizona to Fort Sumner near Santa Fe, New Mexico between the years 1863-1865.
Written in 1970, Scott O'Dell's "Sing Down the Moon" is a fictionalized account of the enslavement of Navajo children by Mexicans and their forced removal to Bosque Redondo/Fort Sumner by American soldiers during the 1860s. Had I been an adult when it was first published and had I read it back then, perhaps I would have been grateful that someone spoke of these injustices, as well as Bright Morning's defiance and escape from them. However, I don't believe this book should be read by children tod ...more
Laura Verret
Running Bird loves the spring. It makes the canyon walls break forth with lovely green trees and blue rushing water. But best of all, it means that Bright Morning and her best friend, Running Bird, can herd their mothers’ sheep out onto the wide green mesa. There they can chatter together and bask in the sun’s warmth. Bright Morning is happy.

But suddenly, trouble strikes. First, a Long Knife – curse the white men! – comes to their camp and threatens them with punishment if they do not keep the p
Veronica Diaz
Nov 18, 2012 Veronica Diaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Main Characters: Bright Morning
Setting: Reservation
POV: Narrator
Grade Level: 6-8
Reading Level: Fountas-Pinnell - T
Genre: Historical Fiction

This is a historical novel that talks about Bright Morning, a female American Indian. She is part of a tribe that soldiers are taking over. The soldiers force them to come with them as slaves. For those they didn’t want to go, they were pushed into it by the soldiers’ actions. They destroyed their crops and burned down the village. While many warriors fight f
Lisa Dominick
Sep 09, 2016 Lisa Dominick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sing Down the Moon written by Scott O’Dell is a work of historical fiction intended for readers age 8 to 15. The book received the following three awards: the 1971 Newbery Medal Honor Book, the 1984 Booklist Contemporary Classics for Young Adults and the 1990 Phoenix Award Honor Book. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Bright Morning, the book described the typical life of the Navajo people, briefly touched on the slave trade of the Navajo by the Spaniards and recounted the events of the Navaj ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sing Down the Moon is a story about a young Navaho, Bright Morning, who is very optimistic about her future. She and her friend, Running Bird, are out looking over their flocks of sheep dreaming and talking about their futures when couple of Spanish Slavers come upon them. Bright Morning and Running Bird are taken and made slaves in a village nearby. Eventually, and with some help, they escape and make it back to their tribe. But soon, the Long Knives (white soldiers) come and force the the trib ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a girl name Bright Morning. She is a Navaho indian. One day her and her friend Running Bird are herding sheep when two men ride up to them. Bright Morning realizes that the men are slavers whoo steal girls and sell them to family's as slaves. But Bright Morning was to late and the men got her and her friend and they took them to the town. When they are in the town Bright Morning meets a girl named Nehana who helps her and Running Bird get home. On the trail home they come acro ...more
It's a dry read. Not in a way that's off-putting or boring, but the narrative style is very straightforward without too much figurative language. There are bits of foreshadowing and some figurative language; young readers will be able to identify these parts easily. I suppose, from an older reader's perspective, I wasn't exactly engaged the way I thought I'd be.

I did read this in middle school, and remember how we seemed to like it… though, I can't remember the details of how it was taught. And,
Tabiatha Sherbert
Sing Down the Moon follows of Navajo Indian Bright Morning and her journey to flee from Spanish slave owners. Bright Morning, when she is tending her flock of sheep, is taken, along with her friend Running Bird, and they are sold as slaves. They are able to escape and go back to their tribe, but what follows is much worse. Sing Down the Moon shows the journey and perils that she faces when soldiers force her, and thousands of other Indians, on what is called the "Long Walk". The reader is able t ...more
Feb 12, 2017 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scott O'Dell's "Island of the Blue Dolphins" is one of my benchmark books for children's fiction. This one didn't quite come up to that standard for me but I still enjoyed it very much.
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Why is this book called Sing Down the Moon? 2 20 Mar 10, 2013 03:43PM  
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Scott O'Dell (May 23, 1898 – October 16, 1989) was an American children's author who wrote 26 novels for youngsters, along with three adult novels and four nonfiction books. He was most famously the author of the children's novel Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), which won the 1961 Newbery Medal as well as a number of other awards. Other award winning books by O'Dell include The King's Fifth (19 ...more
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