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Naya Nuki: Shoshone Girl Who Ran
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Naya Nuki: Shoshone Girl Who Ran

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  939 ratings  ·  130 reviews
After being taken prisoner by an enemy tribe, a Shoshoni girl escapes and makes a thousand-mile journey through the wilderness in search of her own people.
Paperback, 175 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Grandview Pub. Co. (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,375)
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Corinne
In the fourth grade my elementary school had Kenneth Thomasma come to our school to do a talk on his new book: Naya Nuki. I remember being enthralled by his speech (I was also incredibly into Native Americans at the time) and my sweet mother must've given me money to buy the book that day, because my copy is signed by the author and it says "To Corinne 3/25/87". I bet I read it a half dozen times while in elementary school.

I was digging through my box of old books recently and when I found my co
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Monica!
Could I have loved this book more when I was in third grade? Possibly, but only if I was reading it while actually running through the wilderness with my new best friend Naya Nuki.

Honestly, y'all. She's captured! She escapes! She fights off bears! She makes her own shoes out of animal skins! She's like a fierce little ball of sheer awesomeness, and I wanted desperately to be her, one thousand miles of walking and all.
Madeline
My absolute favorite book in 4th grade. I must have checked it out from the library at least fifteen times, and the result of this is that I still remember the plot of the story almost perfectly.

Eleven-year-old Naya Nuki and her friend Sacajawea (10-year-old Madeline: OMG LIKE THE REAL PERSON!) get kidnapped by an enemy tribe and sold into slavery. Naya decides that's not cool, and after her friend gets sold to French traders she starts making plans to blow that popsicle stand and find her trib
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Madeleine
This was one of my favorite books as a tween. The adventure of a young kidnapped girl determined to escape and return home filled my heart and imagination with excitement. Any adventurous young industrious girl will enjoy the highly meticulous and colorful descriptions of Naya Nuki's odyssey home, meticulously illustrating her every struggle with all the painful and terrifying details; finding food, facing illness, avoiding being frozen to death, attacked by wild animals, getting lost, or worse ...more
Melissa
I forgot all about this book! Kenneth Thomasma came to my school in the second grade with a giant buffalo skin. When he asked for volunteers to come get wrapped up in it, somehow I ended up on stage. He gave me an autographed copy for my troubles; wouldn't you know it, but I can't remember what he wrote. Years later, I took it to show & tell at my Catholic middle school (note the emphasis) and someone stole it. Now every time a copy comes my way at work, I check the inside to see if it's min ...more
Jessica
Ken Thomasma used to come to my elementary school every year and do the most amazing assembly ever. Not only was he kind and supportive of kid writers and readers, but he was a treasure trove of information about Native Americans, and he'd do his presentation in full storytelling voice. He also brought visual aids like jewelry, buffalo robes, and photographs. This was my favorite of his books. Based on the real story of a young girl who walked back to her tribe in winter after being kidnapped, h ...more
Hilary
I read this book because it is assigned reading for college masters program of education. the purpose of the assignment is to understand how naya nuki learns throughout her experience. once i got past the very elementary level of wording and description (which is understandable. its a book for elementary kids), I found that the story caught my attention and I was able to read it all in one sitting. i was also excited to read the link to sacajawea at the end.
naya nuki learned by using all of her
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Malea Potter
This book was a fun adventure that jumps into the middle of the story right off the bat. I enjoyed reading this story and i think that children would really enjoy it too. The book kept me reader just to see what king of roadblocks she would run into next. Even though it is a true story, I was still wondering if she would make it home safely or if she would get hurt. I couldn't help thinking how brave she was to travel so far, by herself in about a month's time. I also thought it was nice that th ...more
Ashlyn Phillips
I really liked this story. I remember reading this in grade school and I loved I then also. I was always fascinated by Indian American people and this story really shocked me. I am astounded at the strength of this young girl and I always wanted to be that strong in my own way. I never could believe that this was true, and I think it is kind of sad that it is. It is strange that these type of stories happen in all cultures and to all people. The point is to be brave through we may not literally ...more
Josi
This was an interesting story about a young girls strength; I know when I was eleven I cried when I was left at Walmart, forget being abducted and walking across a few states in enemy territory. One thing I found a bit difficult to get through was the monotony of her journey which accounted for approximately 100 pages of the book. I understood that was a majour part of the story line, but I would have liked to hear more about her reunion with her people (which only filled one page at the end) an ...more
Courtney
This is a story about a young Native American girl Naya Nuki, speculated best friend of Sacajawea, who is kidnapped and separated from her people in the early 1800's. This book tells of her determination and courage to escape and travel almost 1000 miles back, braving harsh weather and dangerous animals alone.

This was my favorite book to read as a child. I love history, I love powerful females, and I loved the adventure and the danger that was on every page. Lots of great description and lots of
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Daniel
I, like many people, have read many stories involving adventure. But never have I come across an adventure where I felt like I was making sure there was no danger around me along with Naya Nuki. Seriously, I was afraid that wolves, bears, or enemy braves would suddenly show up just when I think it's safe. I feel that this story deserves to have a game designed based on it (board game or video game). This story also happened to be a true story. I was wondering why I didn't read this story when I ...more
Jenn
Even though I read this 20+ years ago, the story is still vivid in my mind. Loved it.
Emily
I felt like this book had a lot of great information in it, and the author clearly did his research, but it was so poorly written that I found myself struggling to get through it. The prose in this book is not completely terrible, but it's more akin to a high school research paper than a piece of work by a professional writer. Although the story of Naya Nuki was incredible, this book made her story seem dull and majorly scripted. Overall, if this had been written by a better writer, it probably ...more
Cathy
From the moment Naya Nuki and her friend Sacajawea were captured by warriors of an enemy tribe, Naya Nuki knew she would escape. They were forced to march over 1000 miles to the home of the warriors, and she knew that escape during the march wasn't feasible. But she carefully noted landmarks, so she would be able to find her way back.

Naya Nuki and the others captured were forced to be slaves. The woman Naya Nuki was assigned to beat her, but Naya Nuki worked very hard, and soon the woman ceased
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Laura
Tomorrow is the day. Naya Nuki and her best friend, Sacajawea, are certain that tomorrow their Shoshoni brothers will harvest many buffalo. There will no longer be want among their people: they will be fat and prosperous.

But the morrow brings more than an attack by the Shoshoni upon the buffalos. It also brings an attack by enemy warriors on the Shoshoni. In the ensuing fight, Naya Nuki and Sacajawea are kidnapped and forced to travel hundreds of miles to a new “home”.

But no matter how much time
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Jenny
Read this with my kids for our neighborhood little girls' book club. My kids (ages 5 & 7) really enjoyed it. Even my 2 year old listened to part...and was fascinated by the bear that Naya has to climb a tree to escape. It was an interesting story. I was disappointed, however, that the author did not include any author's note to tell what was fact and what was fiction, how he did his research, etc. As I was looking for more info online (and there wasn't much aside from reviews of this book),o ...more
Read2review
After several trips to America and visiting some native tribes and learning a little about them, American History never fails to captivate me. When Baker Books sent me Naya Nuki I knew I had to read it.

The story about Naya Nuki who gets captured at 11 years of age by the Minnetare tribe and escapes and travels over 1000 miles back to her Shoshoni tribe is stunning. I think it’s safe to say that no 11 year old could do something like this.

The story pulled me in and I couldn’t put the book down. T
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Pam
I read this book quite a while ago and remember enjoying it. For quite a while now, I've been meaning to read another Kenneth Thomasma novel. He lives relatively close to where I live....I live in Ketchum, Idaho and he lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Some of the same Indian tribes roamed and lived near both our locations.
In this book the main character, Naya Nuki is a member of the Shoshoni Indian tribe. She is taken captive along with the infamous Sacajawea and is forced to walk 1000 miles fr
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Mary Meldrum
This story about a shoshone girl who was kidnapped by an other tribe and her daring escape was a nice read. The story had an interesting glimpse into early American history, of particular interest for those in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. A lot of recognizable places mentioned on the book. An interesting look at some of the ways that tribal people lived and survived through difficult stituations. And how this young girl, on her own, used the things she was taught to survive.
Natasha Ence
I thought that this book was filled with good information and it was clear to me that the author had thoroughly researched his subject. Unfortunately, the book was so poorly written that it took away from everything that I could have learnt. I felt like I was reading a school assignment from a fourth grader who was trying to tell me what he/she learnt through a narrative. It just could have been WAY better and a lot less travel-log-esque even though it was a travel-log
Mallory
This novel is short and sweet but very engaging. I loved reading about braveNaya Nuki's dangerous and adventure and seeing how she used her skills to survive. The story is incredible and some might find it difficult to believe...but the ending just tied it all together for me. We read an entry from Lewis and Clark's journal about a part of the happy ending :). I loved the simplicity of the writing. Great novel.
Mekenna Price
This book actually has a lot to teach the readers. It shows determination and even demonstrates some real life skills that people can use. She believed in herself, which meant that she could do what some people might think of as impossible. All in all, a very inspiring story. I read recommend this story to my own children, or to children above 8 or 9 years old.
Caleb Mckenzie
I liked this book. She got captured by Indians and her best friend was Sacagewea and she was planning an escape the whole time. Then she went to be a slave to one of the people in the village. Then she got trusted a little more cause no one thought she was planning an escape, but she was the whole time. It took her like 32 days to complete her journey.
Heather
Feb 22, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Heather by: myself
Naya Nuki is a young girl of the Shoshone tribe. Her best friend is Sacagawea. Their families are hunting on the buffalo grounds when they are savagely attacked. The two girls are taken prisoner by the attacking tribe. They are led a thousand miles from their home to be slaves for the other tribe. Naya Nuki never gives up her hope of escape and return to her homeland.

This book is exciting, adventurous, and historically interesting. Children love this book. It allows you to discuss foreshadowing
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Tamara
Great story, quick read. I think as a child I would have enjoyed it, but it is not well written. Not at all. It's very bland and dry. That was my biggest complaint about the book. I've read very well done biographies, so although I realize that there are constraints placed, it still is possible to write biographical works well.
Jenni De la mare
This book is great for elementary students. I remember reading it when I was in third or fourth grade and really liked it then. One of my favorite things the author does is describe where the events are taking place according to modern locations. I felt like that gave me as a reader a point of reference to picture the setting.
Alyssa
I cannot believe this is a true story. So incredible. Reading about Naya Nuki's life really made me appreciate all of the things we have today (different forms of transportation, different foods, shelters, etc.) life was not easy for the Native Americans. This book opened my eyes to a culture I had never recognized before.
Claire
This is a very fast paced story, and though this isn't my favorite type of format, I think this is a great story. As a teacher this book would be great tool. You can develop lessons about geography, art, health,history and survival. You can build upon the children's schema about Sacajawea and Lewis and Clark.
Jennica Crockett
This is an easier book to read. I thought the story line was a little slow for me and I lost interest quickly. I think it is very informative and good for any unit involving Idaho history or Native Americans. I liked being able to connect with this story because I live next to a Shoshoni reservation.
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Kenneth Thomasma is a professional storyteller and writing workshop leader who lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
More about Kenneth Thomasma...
Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog (Amazing Indian Children Series) Pathki Nana: Kootenai Girl Solves a Mystery Soun Tetoken: Nez Perce Boy Tames a Stallion (Amazing Indian Children Series) Moho Wat: Sheepeater Boy Attempts A Rescue (Amazing Indian Children) Doe Sia: Bannock Girl and the Handcart Pioneers

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