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Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light
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Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Bee stings on the backside! That was just the beginning. Tim was about to enter a world of the past, with bullying boys, stones and Indian spirits of long ago. But they were real spirits, real stones, very real memories…

In this powerful family saga, author Tim Tingle tells the story of his family’s move from Oklahoma Choctaw country to Pasadena, TX. Spanning 50 years, Salt
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Cinco Puntos Press (first published May 1st 2010)
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Before you read Tim Tingle's Saltypie to your child or students in your classroom or library, spend some time studying what Tingle says at the end of the book, on the pages titled "How Much Can We Tell Them?"

There, you'll learn a little about Tim's childhood, and some about his father, grandmother, the Choctaw Nation, and, the rock-throwing incident in the book. Here's an excerpt:

I always knew we were Choctaws, but as a child I never understood that we were Indians. The movies and books about In
Kara Stewart
This is the most beautiful children's book I have read in a long time. It is an example of a story that accurately reflects a Native culture (the Choctaw). There are many parts that will resonate with Native readers - and this is possible because the author himself is Choctaw.

Instructionally, this is an example of a complex text, both for the subjects and the vocabulary and sentence structure. The basic story line, a child's times with his grandmother, then grandmother going to the hospital, is
Not bad as a story. The art was good. There was some problematic stuff around disability (some Model Disabled Person stuff) and that common, but creepy use of the word "strong" in a way that polices people's reactions to suffering. Remember: only stoic people are "strong"! Only people who "overcome" their problems are "strong"! Bootstraps! Etc., etc. This attitude hardly originated with the author, but it rubs me the wrong way every time I encounter it. In a story that's ultimately, if quietly, ...more
You'll have to read the story to find out what "saltypie" is but the story is about one young Choctaw boy's affection for his grandmother (Mawmaw). The boy recognizes his grandmother to be a special Choctaw woman. He tells the story of his father's family moving from Oklahoma to Texas where Mawmaw experienced racism but she lets it go. The story jumps forward in time to events in the boy's life. The time when he was six that he discovered Mawmaw was blind. The shock that he felt that he didn't k ...more
...3 1/2....

Not only the book Saltypie, but the term Saltypie describes problems Tim Tingle’s Choctaw grandmother encountered in her life, from a small child to old age. The story is framed in stories told about the grandmother from various members of Tingle’s family. The collective creates a family history.

“My grandmother was a strong and special Choctaw woman,”and this beloved is the figure around which the story orbits. As one who could be seen as representative of ‘heritage’, hers is a herit
Joanna Thompson
Remembering: Who were the main characters?
Understanding: Describe what is meant by “salty pie.”
Applying: How is this story similar to Grandma’s Gift by Eric Velasquez?
Analyzing: What are the themes in this story? Explain why you picked these themes.
Evaluating: How would you have handled the stone situation if you were Mawmaw? How would you have handled the stone situation if you were her husband?
Creating: Create a new ending to the story. What do you predict will happen now that Mawmaw can see?
Kodi Jones
Saltypie isn’t the typical children’s storybook; it offers many stories in one. Based on the life events of author Tim Tingle’s family, this remarkable book offers the audience an interesting look into the life of modern-day Native Americans that are supported by extensive color and wonderfully detailed illustrations. Tim Tingle tells the stories that his Mawmaw told him and his father of how the Tingle family came to be in Texas. Originally from Oklahoma, the story tells of the adversity Native ...more
Heather Dowell
Salty pie was interesting. It was set back several years, but not so far back that it seemed out of reach. The title was fitting. Throughout the book, bad things happened. The boy gets stung; the mom's face gets cut because someone threw a rock at her; his mawmaw goes to the hospital.

The family refers to everything bad as salty pie. I found that very cute.

At one point in the book, the boy finds out his mawmaw is blind. He had never figured it out. I found that interesting. At the end of the boo
Both written and illustrated by native artists. The afterword, "How Much Can We Tell Them?" is the best part (thanks, Robin!).

Having recently discovered Debbie Reese's blog, I was glad to find a review: http://americanindiansinchildrenslite...
Ally Copper
In "Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light" by Tim Tingle, a young Choctaw-American boy reflects on the life his grandmother has lived. They spend time together feeding chickens and inspecting the eggs. The boy talks about the day when he was six and discovered that his grandmother was blind. He had never known! He also tells the story of his grandmother's moving from Oklahoma to Texas and the boy who threw a stone at her just because she was an Indian. The book culminates with his ...more
Illustrator: Karen Clarkson
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Year: 2010
Interest Level: 2-4
Reading Level: 3-4

Tingle, a Chocktaw Native American, shares a story from his family with emotive illustrations. The title comes from an event shared between Tim Tingle's grandmother and father when his father was a little boy. (You'll have to read it to find out.) This book is more a story about family with a child's history and values revealed than it is a cultural look at Native American life. Discrimination
I'm becoming such a fan of Tim Tingle. I'm sure that is in part due to the fact I've seen him tell stories in person. This book is one I chose as part of a small collection of "Peace" books. I teach lessons promoting Peace and anti-bullying behaviors based upon books from this small collection. Saltypie fits in so well. On first reading you feel a bit manipulated reading the text and viewing the illustrations. It feels a bit didactic, but it is NOT. I believe I'm reacting to my own bias with tha ...more
Nashwa M.
Tim Tingle, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, writes this outstanding Native-American picture book, SALTYPIE, that is not only heartwarming and entertaining, but serves to dispel many stereotypical myths about Native Americans, their history and their role in society today.

The book recounts Tim’s early childhood memories with his Mawmaw (grandmother) and her strong influence on his life. As the story begins, Tim is comforted by his Mawmaw after a painful bee sting that is shr
Apr 01, 2011 Hank rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: cats
Saltypie is the story of a Choctaw family from Oklahoma. The narrator tells the story as it centers on his grandmother, Mawmaw. The story opens with Mawmaw comforting the narrator by telling him his bee sting is 'some kind of saltypie'. Many years earlier, Mawmaw was the victim of a random, violent racist act; an unidentified boy threw a stone and hit her face. Her son comformts her with a hug and in doing so relates the blood to pie filling. The blood tastes salty, so he dubbed it 'saltypie'. S ...more
Jillian Heise
The author's note/afterword in is book should be a required read for all teachers! Really...go get this book and read the end note, How Much Can We Really Tell Them?

The story itself was a little confusing to me because of the timeline jumping that wasn't totally clear as far as a linear story. It all came togther at the end, but read more like vignettes. A strong Native voice.
Emilce Guzman
Audience: This would be great for k-6 grade levels. This story is about Indian American history. It also includes the family dynamic which is an important value to Indian Americans.

Appeal:It would appeal to both boys and girls. The illustrations give the text a deeper meaning regarding the situations that the main character encountered as he grew up.

Application: This book would be used in a history lesson about American Indians. I would first bring up the topic about stereotypes and how they can
In this book, Tim Tingle writes about his grandmother, mawmaw, and her personal experiences as a Choctaw woman living at a time when hostility existed toward native americans. She is hit with a rock by someone unknown because of her culture and while she is crying and bleeding her son uses the term saltypie to describe her injury. From then on mawmaw refers to small injuries as saltypies. She overcomes much during her life,even blindness. I didn't really like this book because I found it to be c ...more
Audience: Good book for children from every different kind of background and gender. This book would be perfect for grades 3-5.

Appeal: Truthful. It is a raw and honest book that really leaves you thinking about how you treat people and how you will treat people. Get's children thinking about many different aspects of their lives and those around them.

Application: This book would be greatly beneficial during a social studies lesson, or even a language arts lesson. There is a lot of cultural diff
Cory Mccune
Audience: Primary
Genre: Biography
Quote: "He crawled up into her lap and saw shiny liquid squishing from between her fingertips. It reminded him of sweet cherry pie filling, bubbling up from the criss-cross crust of Mawmaw's pies. He reached to her face to get a taste of it, then touched his fingertip to his lips. 'Saltypie!' he said, spitting as he said it. 'Saltypie!'" (p. 13)
Rationale: This quote explains why the book is called what it is called. It is also a description of a very natural acti
Audience: Grades K-2, readers interested in American Indian history, readers interested in family history.

Appeal: The text in this story is accompanied by beautiful and detailed illustrations. The story moves a little slower than I would have liked but gave a lot of details about different subjects throughout the book. At the end of the book the author gave a great description of what her life was like growing up Choctaw. This would be a great addition to any library to add diversity.

(2012 Amer
In an author's note, author Tim Tingle tells readers that his main reason for writing this story is to help dispel stereotypes about Native Americans. They are just like the rest of us -- they dress in modern clothes, live in modern houses, and work at the same kinds of jobs as the rest of us. He does this while telling the true story of his grandmother, who was blind, the family she raised, and the racial hatred she endured as a child and young woman because of her heritage.
Audience: I think this book is great for all K-6. I think it really shows the dynamics of family and introduces the reader to a new culture.

Appeal: This book deals with Native American hardships as well as culture, so a person wanting to learn about that would enjoy this book. The book also deals a lot with family, so A family may want to read it together.

American Indian Youth Literature Award 2012 Winner
Lila Brantley
This book is a contemporary tale of a Choctaw six year old boy and his beloved grandma. This story not only tells about discrimination but raises the question “Why?”. The author finishes the book with a personal note of the importance of eradicating stereotypes and teaching others that Choctaw and other Native Americans are just like everyone else, modern citizens.
Mackenzie Raatz
I can incorporate this week into a Social Studies Lesson. Students will be able to relate to this book in their daily lives. They will also be able to relate to the content being taught in my lesson by this book. It is a great way to incorporate literature!
Book Concierge
Beautifully illustrated, autobiographical children’s book has many important messages – respect for elders, understanding your heritage, aging with grace and dignity, overcoming life’s obstacles – but the story bounced from present to past to present and there were no smooth transitions. Ages 5-8.
This picture book/memoir by Tim Tingle provides a great springboard for talking about attitudes toward Native Americans. Told as a memoir, Tingle tells a story about his grandmother that all children will be able to relate to. Themes of bullying and what it means to really 'see" people.
Tingle is a master storyteller and he applies his skills to a family story, that of his grandmother, and to learning life's lessons. A gentle, yet powerful story that is beautifully illustrated.
Contemporary story reflecting back on childhood -- lot of family history here with events important to Native Americans (Oklahoma boarding schools, discrimination). Very moving.
Enjoyed the story, but not super impressed with the artwork. Still, we need more contemporary, true images of American Indians. This is a solid entry into that category.
Jack Granath
I enjoyed this picture book about a modern Choctaw family, especially a woman at the center of it and her gentle way of dealing with difficult situations.
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Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a popular presenter at storytelling and folklore festivals across America. He was featured at the 2002 National Storytelling Festival. In 2004, he was a Teller-In-Residence at The International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, Tennessee. Choctaw Chief Gregory Pyle has requested a story by Tingle previous to his Annual State of the Nation ...more
More about Tim Tingle...
Crossing Bok Chitto How I Became a Ghost Walking the Choctaw Road: Stories from the Heart and Memory of the People House of Purple Cedar When Turtle Grew Feathers: A Tale from the Choctaw Nation

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